Are Polyamorous Relationships The Next Front In The Legal Marriage Debate?

And has the threeway hit the mainstream?

It’s not uncommon for TV shows to tread the same waters and hash over the same current events or issues that may have captured the attention of the American people.

This weekend something different caught my eye as I watched the recent episode of The Mysteries of Laura on NBC.

As with any cop show, this one starring the entertaining Debra Messing (I loved Ned & Stacy) as ‘Laura’, detectives investigate a murder. No surprise there. But while investigating the victim in order to determine suspects in his death, the detectives discovered that he was in a “non-traditional” marriage with a woman and another man.

When the Laura character reacted to the initial news, she made a perplexed expression but moved on with discovering evidence. The wife and husband of the deceased were quickly dismissed as suspects.

Besides the discovery that the deceased lost his big client because of the revelation of his lifestyle, and that he was having doubts about his role in the relationship after a fling with an old girlfriend, the polyamorous relationship was just a footnote depicted like any other relationship. There was no judgment and it really wasn’t a necessary plot point. Had he been just a heterosexual married man who had doubts about his relationship to his wife, the story would have went in the same direction. There was no follow-up on this secret marriage between three people, or a reaction from them when the murderer was revealed.

So what’s the big deal, right?

After watching the episode I felt like I had seen that story somewhere before. I remembered that this past November there was an episode of Elementary on CBS where ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Joan’ were investigating a murder and discovered that the victim was also in a polyamorous marriage — one wife and two husbands. In this episode, one of the husbands was the killer but the depiction of the marriage was without judgment. It was treated like any other situation.

A blog called “Polyamory In The News” described the episode as “sympathetic” and “respectful.”


After watching primetime TV shows on two major networks I’m left with the impression that marriages of more than 2 people are happening more than we think, and that it’s not a big deal.

Is this the next social agenda? If so, is this movement really going to happen?

Sure we’ve had Big Love on HBO in the past but that involved radical religious beliefs.

At CNN.com there’s an article on OKCupid adding features to aid romantics seeking “open relationships” or looking to join a relationship of two or more people.

Will this lead to marches led by men and women asking for their secret marriages to multiple partners be recognized? Were those that opposed gay marriage correct when they said that gay marriage would open the floodgates for other extreme interpretations of love and marriage?

I don’t necessarily agree, and think this is an unfortunate side issue that the LGBQT community will forever be entangled in, but it’s obvious that the polyamorous movement is getting some traction — and that one initial argument against gay marriage has now been given a shot of validity.

There may be a movement for polygamy — maybe not right now, but sometime soon. We’re not just talking a sexual movement here, which oddly enough I think most people would dismiss. The issue of defining marriage is not over.

Straight people, and gay people, get ready — there could be a third group seeking to add themselves to the ‘legally allowed to marry’ club.

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