One of the things that I've seen a lot of lately is articles covering the idea of giving polyamorous relationships the same rights as other relationships and allowing those within them to marry under the eyes of the law.
The Green Party in the UK are open to the idea of one day legalising multi-partner marriages, and this has created a lot of talk, both for the idea and against.
The part of the debate that has sprung up that has really left me baffled, however, is the amount of members of the LGBT community who are condemning the idea. Here is a group that is still very much fighting for the rights to marry and they're turning around to another group of people and saying that they shouldn't be able to marry. It just doesn't make sense to me.
I'm in a polyamorous relationship, I have two partners and the three of us are in a relationship together, I'm not an add-on to anyone else's relationship or someones 'bit on the side', the three of us are all in a relationship with each other, and none of us sees any inherent problem with this. Okay, sometimes it's harder to split things by thirds rather than half and more space is needed when sleeping, but other than that our relationship is no different from anyone else's, so why do people feel that there is something majorly wrong with poly relationships?
I've seen all kinds of arguments against three or more people being in relationships, that it's all just about sex, that people are being greedy, or even that it's akin to cheating. I can't speak for every poly relationship in the world, I can only draw on what I've heard others say and what I know from my own relationship, but these arguments are all wrong.
Yes, polyamorous relationships involve sex, just as monogamous relationships do, but it doesn't mean that that's all that these relationships have. Polyamorous relationship are built on love and caring for your partners as mush as monogamous relationships.
It's greed? Well no, if you love more than one person how is that being greedy? You can't help who you love, and if you love two people, or more, and everyone is okay with that then what does it matter? And to those who might turn around and say that you cannot possibly love more than one person, can a parent love their child as well as their partner? Can a parent love more than one child? There is not a limited amount of love in the world, if you love more than one person that should be celebrated, not condemned. One of the 'it's being greedy' arguments I heard personally was that 'everyone should have one before anyone else goes back for seconds', well I'm sorry, but if you can't 'get one' I'm not going to put my relationship on hold because of that.
Thirdly, a relationship with three or more consenting partners is nothing like cheating. When it comes to polyamorous relationships everyone involved is filly informed and consenting, there is no cheating going on whatsoever. To equate the two is no different than when people compare being homosexual as merely experimenting or being confused. It shows lack of knowledge or respect.
In an article on Pink News polyamorous activist and writer Jon Barrett urges people to look at equal marriage rights for poly couples as the next stage in the equal rights battle. He makes some very compelling points as to why it's important for multi-partnered relationships to have the same rights as single partnered ones. For example, some people in poly relationships would not be allowed to visit their partner when they're in hospital.
The thing that disturbed me most about the article were some of the comments left behind by the readers. Remember, that the majority of the people who read Pink News are members of the LGBT community, people who are fighting for equal rights, who know the struggle of having their relationships belittled and dismissed. Instead of presenting as a united front on this issue it would seem that the LGBT community are just as divided as the hetrosexual community in their distaste for polyamorous relationships.
Here are just a few of the comments made that I was able to pick out within two minutes of looking through the comments section.
The argument that wanting certain rights will just give those who oppose us more reasons to hate us and more ammunition to use against us, therefore we should not pursue it is utterly ridiculous. If lesbians were told not to demand further rights as women have it hard enough being treated equally would that be acceptable? Is it okay to put one group of peoples comfort and rights above others? No, that's what cis white men have been doing for hundreds of years and that's why people all over the world are fighting for equality even today, because one group put itself above others.
Yep, because we all need to take a number in order to get our equal rights, like at a deli counter. I mean, why should all people want to be equal when we can fight one battle at a time. I mean, it's just like how we're not looking into a cure for cancer at the moment because we're still looking for a cure to the common cold right? Also, as a transgender, pansexual person in a polyamorous relationship what rights should I be fighting for first? I wouldn't want to rock the boat and wanted to be treated fully like a human being when I can do it in stages so that I can still be discriminated against in some way.
First of all, referring to having more than one partner as having an 'affair' when it is in a polyamorous relationship is massively disrespectful and shows no understanding of just what a poly relationship is. Also, where is the study that shows that divorce would increase by 100% just by legalising poly marriages? Or are you just pulling that fact out of your arse like those people who claim that legalising homosexuality would lead to peadophillia and beastitality?
Luckily there were some positive reactions to the article too, as there are some people in the world who support the idea of legalising polyamorous relationships.
This commenter makes the point that I raised earlier on in this article, that many of the people who are opposed to this suggestion are the very same people who were once fighting for their own marriage to be legalised, or in some parts of the world still are. To use arguments that you have used in order to show that your relationships are no different than hetrosexual ones, what gives you the right to say what is or isn't a real or normal relationship? No one is saying that legalising poly marriage could be done overnight, it'd take a lot of figuring out, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be allowed. You've been fighting for your rights, why shouldn't we fight for ours?
Once again, it's being pointed out just how hypocritical it is for members of the LGBT community to condemn certain people for wanting the rights to marry those that they love, and it points out something that I have seen a lot in comments on this topic, the 'I'm not against poly relationships, but...' argument. If you don't want poly people to have the right to marry then like it or not you are discriminating, you are polyphobic, it's as simple as that.
Like I said, I'm transgender, pansexual and polyamorous, I know what it's like to fight for respect and rights, but at what point am I supposed to stop fighting for my rights? Am I supposed to say, 'okay, I've been accepted as a transgender person but don't have any rights in my relationship, oh well I can't win them all'? Am I supposed to deny myself the ability to marry someone that I love because it might make life harder for others?
No, that's wrong. You cannot demand that you be given certain rights whilst denying those same rights to other. Whether you do so because you disagree with the 'lifestyle choices' being made by that group or because you think that it might effect your own rights it's still wrong.
My relationship doesn't harm anyone else, it doesn't deny anyone else happiness, it doesn't make anyone else's relationship less legitimate. So why would that suddenly change if I was given right, a piece of paper and a ring? It wouldn't. People need to stop putting one group of rights above others and see that to be equal we all need to be equal.
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