With the recent advances in marriage rights expanding to include gays and lesbians, there has been more talk than usual in the poly community about expanding marriage rights to include multiple partners.
Ten or fifteen years ago some claimed that polyamory was just a fad, but it’s increasingly clear that an ever growing number of people feel that being polyamorous is simply who they are. So it makes sense that many polys would want to have the same rights that married people have.
However, before we get too invested in such an idea, I’d like to ask my fellow polys to pause for a moment and reflect upon whether this is the best way to expend our energy. The primary issue I have with marriage is that it arose from an “ownership mentality” that I feel has nothing to do with the core philosophy of polyamory. Instead of trying to fit in to a dysfunctional system, I believe it would be more healthy to question the assumptions that who we love and/or have sex with should have anything to do with legal rights.
As I wrote in my book, Spiritual Polyamory:
“The governments of nations are impersonal entities that arise out of the illusion of separation between the people of the world. Do nothing to taint your love.”
Why would you want an impersonal entity to have anything to do with your love life? There is a mass hypnosis that this is “normal” and we should all play along and do our best to perpetuate tradition. But if enough people change their perception of reality, the laws and traditions can change as well.
I can certainly understand given the current laws why poly people desire various rights related to insurance, hospitalization, taxes, etc. But before we fight to be included within a system that is a nostalgic, archaic remnant from the old paradigm, I believe it would be more advantageous to create a new way of living in which your rights have nothing to do with love or sexuality.
For over a decade I’ve found it somewhat creepy to connect the government with one’s love. It seems to me that marriage from the standpoint of the government is about social engineering that inhibits free thinking, perpetuates consumerism, and tries to keep things nice and tidy. I want to be free of any such manipulation. And I want the right to make choices about my life regardless of how many people I love…or if I am in a romantic relationship with anyone.
It strikes me as bizarre to have legal rights as a result of something so personal as what I’m doing within my intimate life. So instead of perpetuating the concept of a legal marriage, let’s envision a system in which laws have nothing to do with romance. Let’s create our own relationship rituals, if we choose to have them, and remain separate from the hollow politics of governing entities.
Here are some examples of how we could advocate for new laws:
Instead of allowing tax advantages for being legally married, let everyone pay the same rates regardless of what they’re doing with their heart or genitals!
Allow people to make choices related to hospital visitation and other health issues without respect to whether or not they sleep in the same bed with the others involved in the process!
As opposed to making insurance available to one spouse, allow it to be available for one other person in your home, even if you’ve never exchanged saliva!
If you’re in the military, you should be able to choose whoever you want to be notified if you are wounded or killed without it being related to whether or not you’ve helped each other achieve an orgasm!
I include the preceding bold, italicized comments to illustrate how ridiculous it is to combine something so dry and technical as laws with something so juicy and personal as intimacy.
I am not going to hold my breath while waiting for marriage laws to be questioned. As long as the current “marriage equals more rights” approach exists, I support anyone who wants to expand these rights to multiple partners.
My concern is that most people don’t even question that love should be connected to the government…simply because that’s how they were raised…and that’s how things are. Nevertheless, I believe that there are many people who are waking up and questioning everything they’ve been told is normal. And if poly people can’t reevaluate fitting in to the dominant paradigm’s structured rules, who can?
Check out Chris’s (pen name, Mystic Life’s) book Spiritual Polyamory
Intuitive Guidance - Ethical Sites at LiveReaders.com