As you probably know by now, I am polyamorous, kinky and more than a little slutty (the lube wrestling event went fantastically by the way. Thanks to all those who turned up!).
So yeah, leaving the city where my partners live is a big, scary step (though I have been calling 2016 ‘the year of big, scary things’ since 2015)
So I started to do some more research on the state of poly outside of my own amazing reality.
Well, I have sources! A 2015 gallup poll (LINKY LINK: http://www.gallup.com/poll/183413/americans-continue-shift-left-key-moral-issues.aspx) shows that there is a growing trend of people who find plural marriage (Kept away from multiple marriage as it implies one after another, while we are talking about mulyiple all at once) to be morally acceptable.
Poly relationships are receiving more mainstream coverage as well, with shows like ‘Polyamory: married and dating’ and storylines in various sitcoms featuring poly relationships. People in the Poly Monthly group are asked on a monthly basis to be featured in documentaries.
Way back in the mists of 2014, there was an article in Newsweek (Link: http://europe.newsweek.com/polyamory-next-sexual-revolution-82053?rm=eu) which estimated that there are more than 500,000 openly poly families in the US.
At the time, there were an estimated 322 million people in the US, so if we assume that each of those 500 thousand families consist of three people, that leaves us with 1.5 million openly poly people or 0.005% of the populus. Statistics for the win!
It’s no surprise then that there are people who are not so happy about poly being socially acceptable. The more conservative crowd in the political and legal systems for instance: Chief Justice John Roberts (wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Roberts ) wrote the following of same sex marriage:
“(same sex marriage) would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” So let’s look at this a bit more, shall we?
When discussing the concept of multiple relationships, many polyamorous people are often likened to polygamous people, so let us define:
Polygamy / polygyny is the taking of multiple wives
Polyandry is the taking of multiple husbands
Polyamory is the exploration of multiple loves
here, multiple loves refers to the maintaining of open, honest and ethical relationships, with or without sexual aspects and does not refer to the gender of either person.
while polygamy is usually sprung from a religious belief (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy#Contemporary_religious_attitudes_to_polygamy for my thinking), polyamory is secular and not tied particularly to any religion. Despite the fact that there is more public awareness and activism, polyamory is still seen as a fringe subject and polyamorists are still outside of the mainstream (in large part due to cultural discrimination against alternative lifestyle.)
Our current mainstream model is the nuclear family, with biological parents, but with current marriage and divorce rates, the observation would be that the current model is now outdated, and whilst there are indeed problems with poly getups from a legal perspective, for instance with custody battles, there are always ways around these issues.
On the other hand, there is currently no working model for retrieving child support from multiple caregivers. If a child has two or more non biological parents, there is no way for a judge to order simultaneous child support payments, so poly families generally need to create their own custodial agreements without resorting to court.
On the odd occasion that the government has been called upon to intervene in poly relationships, they have actually been quite damaging.
In 1998, April Divilbiss (from ‘MTV’s Sex in the ’90s: It’s a Group Thing’) was forced to defend against a third party custody petition for her daughter, Alana, from Alana’s paternal grandmother. The grandmother accused April of endangering Alana’s welfare through ‘Depravity’. A Judge ruled that Alana be removed from the home and after years of litigation, April found herself nearly penniless and as a result, agreed that Alana’s grandparents would be better able to provide for her.
Admittedly this is an American case, but it opened the door for child protective services to remove children and this is a fear which strikes poly parents around the world as there is no particular legal protection from these measures.
Regardless of whether poly relationships are going to be legally recognised, securing the rights of those practicing alternative lifestyles will be an interesting one: The LGBT battle for marriage equality did a lot of work towards allowing poly to be legally recognised, legal acceptance of poly families will require new rights in various areas of all legal systems, from inheritance to child custody.
As we have seen with the LGBT movement, the path from recognition to acceptance is a long and often arduous one. Many people in the poly lifestyle are resistant to coming out, and with stories of losing children, jobs, family and friends when others have come out has created an air of fear about this subject.
Ok guys and gals, that’s all from me in this post: be foolish, happy, wild, sexy & naughty together.
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