It’s also said that gay marriage will eventually lead to polygamy and worse. This argument is without even the barest shred of merit.

Genghis Conn on CT Local Politics, March 20, 2007

That didn’t take long. Barely a year after our opponents’ failed attempt to shout down the obvious truth that same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy, Connecticut’s most influential newspaper–and a strong supporter of same-sex marriage–is running a story promoting “polyamory.” From “One Woman, Many Beds,” a story in today’s Courant:

But Robyn Trask, executive director of Loving More, a Boulder, Colo.-based group, believes it is unfortunate that the public often doesn’t hear about what she believes are the positive aspects to having more than one partner.

While polygamy involves having more than one spouse, Trask’s group, which has 1,500 active members, including some in Connecticut, supports polyamory: having multiple loves of either sex with or without marriage.

Trask’s organization publishes Loving More Magazine and runs conferences and retreats that address topics that naturally arise, such as jealousy and envy, and provides support and education for people who wish to have “poly” lives.

Trask herself has practiced polyamory for 18 years and has three children. She has one primary relationship now with a man in Colorado and secondary relationships with a man in New York and another in Hong Kong, each of whom have relationships with others.

The Courant does not cite a single source critical of polyamory or the harm it can do to children. Instead, we get a firsthand account of the supposed strengths of the “multi-partner lifestyle”…though a careful reading of the Q and A suggests it’s not all it’s cracked up to be:

Q:So eventually you found polyamory?

A: We started going to [polyamorist] groups. In ’99, we started a support group. … It was a coed support group put together by myself and my husband.

My husband started a relationship with a woman. I got involved; we had a triad. The three of us were involved. That was a total surprise. At the same time, I was also dating another man who was living with a woman. She was involved with another man.

Q:Was your marriage working?

A: I am actually now divorced. My husband and I split last year, pretty amicably. I’m now involved with somebody else who helps me run Loving More.

No doubt the same folks who were outraged by the same-sex marriage/polygamy connection will deny that this article lends credence to our argument. We can already imagine their weak attempts to deny it or change the subject: polygamy isn’t polyamory, a newspaper article isn’t a bill in the legislature…whatever.

But with this article the campaign for polyamory has now taken its first step in Connecticut…and it was the push for same-sex marriage that made it possible. Just don’t expect our opponents to ever admit it. 

34 Responses to “Courant Promotes “Polyamory””

  1. on 09 May 2008 at 6:07 amDon Pesci

    Right. Polyamory is poligamy minus the marriage contract.

  2. on 09 May 2008 at 7:15 amAdam

    Despite your fear mongering, SSM would in fact solidify the bianary relationship, making it clear public policy that a two person relationship is in preferrable for a stable society. If we find that the current purpose for marriage is, as you insist, procreation there is nothing stopping polygamy since it is a far more effective means of achieving large families.

  3. on 09 May 2008 at 10:08 amBob

    The true and genuine love, Agape Love is witnessed in the selfless giving of self for the sake of the beloved. This Love is most sincerely witnessed in a real and loving marriage between husband and wife. Dying to self, placing the spouse above the needs of self is the hallmark of this highest and attainable love.

    Infidelity, adultery, etc, is the result of purposefully breaking a marital vow. Instead of forsaking all others, they forsake the spouse. This shows the opposite of the highest form of love and instead is the highest form of self love; pride. Instead of love, they seek the fulfilling of lustful pleasures and desires. Seeking out one’s own disordered desires can wreak havoc and devastation on a person, a spouse, not to say what disastrous results it can perpetrate on children in such a ‘marriage’. This is no marriage; in fact it is a sham. This isn’t anything new, this is a repacking of the “Free Love” of the Seventies. The result of free love, was a generation of messed up teens, who became adults and who had free and easy divorce and the resulting generation of men and women without the true example of genuine love a family is supposed to teach to their children.

    Even these disordered desires of such persons, points to the yearning a person has to seek out true Agape Love. Wrongly they feel they can fulfill this desire by seeking sexual activity outside the safe and sacred bonds of marriage. Instead of lasting pleasure, they are left empty and unfulfilled. So they think more and more partners will satisfy the emptiness they feel. Their hearts remain restless for their hearts were made to rest in God.

    This yearning for fulfillment can only be fulfilled in the personal and sacred Love that one finds and shares in God. God is the highest and greatest Good one can attain. When you are loved by God, and when you return that love, when you give completely of yourself to God, when you Love God above all, you are able to properly love another. God’s Love, re-orders all of mankind’s disordered desires. It puts right, all the sensual pleasures of the flesh and all the spiritual desires of the soul.

    What these people do when they selfishly seek pleasure outside the lasting pleasure, is they then make themselves especially their spouses, vulnerable to abuse, use, sexually transmitted diseases and other disastrous results of using people, treating other dignified human persons without dignity, instead using them as mere objects, the objects of their sexual desires that they can use and discard at will.

    I’m sure the Courant would have written something like that in response to such an article if they had room in their paper.

  4. on 09 May 2008 at 1:17 pmDune

    Okay, let’s stick directly to the subject. The subject heading of your post is:

    “Courant Promotes “Polyamory””


    pro•mot•ed, pro•mot•ing, pro•motes
    a. To raise to a more important or responsible job or rank.
    b. To advance (a student) to the next higher grade.
    2. To contribute to the progress or growth of; further. See Synonyms at advance.
    3. To urge the adoption of; advocate: promote a constitutional amendment.
    4. To attempt to sell or popularize by advertising or publicity: commercials promoting a new product.
    5. To help establish or organize (a new enterprise), as by securing financial backing: promote a Broadway

    Care to explain how the Courant is “promoting” polyamory by simply reporting on it? They make direct reference to the horrible situation in Texas so I would say the dark side of polygamy is very fairly represented in the media in general and in the Courant in the specific. This piece is a window on those that advocate for the polyamorous lifestyle, which is of significant difference to polygamy. A story addressing that is hardly promoting it. This is silly on the face of it.

    Plus, your original contention is that same sex marriage leads to polygamy. You have two problems here, 1.) Polyamory isn’t polygamy. 2.) You want to ignore this by hand waving it away, so fine, but have not established any sort of correlation let alone any sort of direct causation between same sex marriage and polyamory (or polygamy for that matter). You need to establish the direct link for your argument to have any weight whatsoever. Without this your argument is just so much hot air.

  5. on 09 May 2008 at 3:03 pmAnita Wagner

    One problem with your premise is that there is harm being done in polyamorous relationships that is unlike anything that happens in monogamous relationships. The truth is that people in polyamorous relationships must by necessity spend a lot of time communicating and growing and owning their own feelings and rising above pettiness and resentment in order to make their relationships work. The payoff is huge in terms of the health of these relationships.

    The false assumption that gay marriage will lead to polyamory which will lead to the collapse of the family, and some would say society as a whole, is just that – false. No one is trying to destroy marriage or the family, and polyamorous families can be and usually are quite healthy. The only time they aren’t is when the people involved aren’t, and there is no greater incident of that than there is in monogamous marriages and families.

    Another false premise is that polyamorous families are bad for children. There is not one shred of evidence to prove this. In fact, many families find that children flourish in an atmosphere where there are more adults to love them, read to them, take them to soccer practice, provide financial resources for the family, and so forth. As long as the family is stable, kids do just fine. It’s no different than having a large extended biological family. I know this may disappoint you.

    By the way, Robyn Trask’s marriage’s end had nothing to do with it being an open marriage. I know her well. Things are not always what they appear (or what you hope they are).

    I don’t live in Connecticut, but if I did and I were part of those you consider opponents, I’d be happy to make the truth very clear. You’ve wasted a lot of time and resources demonizing something that is just as ethical and honest as monogamous marriage, in some cases moreso, since we don’t lie and cheat on each other. The incident of cheating, i.e. breaking trust by violating agreements and commitments without a spouse’s consent, is virtually non-existent in committed polyamorous relationships. Can you say the same about monogamous marriages?

  6. on 09 May 2008 at 5:14 pmBob

    One can see why the Courant would feature such a wonderful role model of enlightened thinking. Here is a background of her talents. from a link on the Courant website
    QUOTE: Robyn Trask is the Managing Editor of Loving More® Magazine she owns and facilitates New Visions Center for Personal Growth and Intuitive Arts in Broomfield, CO near Boulder. She has been practicing polyamory for 16 years, a mom for 17 years, been a student of Tantra for 21 years, and Tantric teacher for 5 years.

    Robyn facilitates workshops, teaches astrology, and does astrological, spiritual, and Tantric counseling. Her first book, The Last High Priestess, being published in the spring 2005, it is a historical fiction set in the ancient Minoan culture of Crete. Robyn will be available to do a limited number of astrology readings while in the Philadelphia area, contact her at “address intentionally deleted” for more information. :END QUOTE
    Isn’t that nice. New Age mysticism, Astrology incuding cult readings, Tantric sexual practices. This woman’s soul is in great, grave and mortal danger.. Please let’s pray for her deliverance from such demonic devices in the name of Jesus.

  7. on 09 May 2008 at 7:23 pmDave

    Isn’t polyamory really worse than polygamy, in the sense of causing societal disorder?

    Consider this: You could draw a 2-dimensional matrix, with one axis being “mono vs. poly” and the other axis being “married vs. unmarried”. This would illustrate 4 lifestyle choices:

    1. monogamous married relationship
    2. monogamous unmarried relationship
    3. polygamous married relationship
    4. polyamorous unmarried relationship

    Let me start by saying that in this matrix I’ve deliberately limited the model to the types of relationships people are saying (or have said at times, historically) should potentially be considered as legitimate within society; and that are capable of natural procreation. There are of course “married but unfaithful” relationships that might be considered, but we do not as a society consider this option worthy of being celebrated or enshrined as a social desirable institution. For the sake of argument, let’s set those aside and focus on this matrix model to explore some of its ramifications.

    It seems that polyamory can be similar to polygamy – but without any marriage commitment, and without any well-defined limit to the scope the “network” of sexually intimate persons. By “network”, I mean to describe the set of persons with whom you are sexually intimate (direct partners) combined together everyone in each of your sexual partner’s “networks” (indirect partners). In the monogamous relationships I’ve listed above, the network size is always 2, with one female and one male. In the polygamous relationship I’ve described above, the network size is always N+1, with N females and one male. But in polyamorous relationships, the network size is a potentially unbounded value X+Y, with X females and Y males.

    Setting aside the usual religious and moral complaints (just temporarily for the sake of this discussion), at least in situations 1 and 2 any children would share a common father and mother; and in situation 3 any children would share a common father even if having different mothers (and mothers would therefore be certain of the father’s identity with respect to any child born). But in situation 4, the same mother can have children with different fathers; and the same father can have children with different mothers; and nobody really knows with certainty the father’s identity for any child born – wherever the polyamorous “network” locally includes more than one male. Not knowing one’s parentage can create problems later when future generations might potentially interbreed unknowingly with a close relation. Hence, situation 4 is potentially harmful to society in the larger sense, even while it may seem personally appealing to its practitioners.

    As to the quality of permanence, in situations 1 and 3 the partners have a greater sense of family stability due to the more serious step of commitment taken in establishing marriage. I say this here not out of any implied sense of morality, but simply due to the fact that there a legal consequences in dissolving a marriage. Children with a family in situation 2 may be at greater risk that a parent leaves the relationship before they grow to adulthood. Likewise children with a family in situation 4 have a greater risk that a parent leaves the relationship before they grow to adulthood. Maintaining continuity among the parents who oversee a child’s upbringing is an important factor to the well-being of a child, and to their ultimately achieving adulthood in a well-adjusted way (e.g. more likely to have benefited from their education, more likely to be suited for achievements in a job/career, and less likely to be involved in criminal behavior). Consequently, situations 1 and 3 are more beneficial to society in the larger sense.

    From the perspective of vulnerability to sexually transmitted diseases, situations 1, 2 and 3 are closed networks in which any STD would have to be passed through the single male within the family model. Therefore they have a lower inherent vulnerability to magnifying the occurrence of STDs. But since the network in situation 4 is potentially much larger, and has more paths whereby an STD can transit between two persons, it has a higher inherent vulnerability to STDs. This is yet another factor that is harmful to society in the larger sense.

    Finally there is the suitability of these relationship models to the overall ratio of men and women born and surviving to adulthood within society. It’s roughly 50-50 in our modern world. Consequently, situations 1 and 2 are a good fit for our demographics. Situation 3 is not a good fit, because it tends to deprive males of an opportunity to participate in creating a family unit. Situation 4 may or may not be a good fit, depending on the ratio between X and Y; but since the network size and composition is not easily planned or controlled by all parties, it might tend to be a poor fit more often than not.

    In writing these comments, I’ve tried to very careful to avoid injecting my personal religious or moral beliefs onto the debate. But I think that when it’s viewed objectively, in the sense of its value to society overall, the model of polyamory is actually the worst of all competing models!

    Why then is it practiced? Quite simply, it is because those who partake of it are driven by their own selfishness. People do not typically stop to think of how their actions may affect society when they are driven by physical or emotional impulses. And this is why we found the need to collectively evolve our societal structures, over the span of thousands of years, to define laws and codes of behavior that would steer people to the more beneficial models. In essence it is the modern hubris of personal independence and freedom, epitomized by the “me” generation, that brings us back to exploring these faulty models of relationships once again.

  8. on 10 May 2008 at 12:05 pmTricia


    Do you even know what “monogamous” means? In a “monogamous marriage” the husband and wife have a *sexual relationship* ONLY with each other—NO ONE ELSE!

    Thus, men and women in “monogamous marriages” do NOT “lie and cheat on each other.”

    OTOH, polyamorists, who have “open” relationships and “agreements and commitments” to have sexual relationships with several people are simply rationalizing their promiscuity. It is still promiscuity, much as “swinging” is promiscuity.

  9. on 11 May 2008 at 10:01 amBob

    :”The truth is that people in polyamorous relationships must by necessity spend a lot of time communicating and growing and owning their own feelings and rising above pettiness and resentment in order to make their relationships work.”:

    Oooh, A Lot of time Communicating and growing; Rising above pettiness; Growing and owning their own feelings. How nice. You should be on Oprah!

    Translation: I can’t be bothered to foster a deep loving relationship with a person I love enough to cherish. I’ve got too many selfish pursuits. My, me, mine….It’s all about me.

  10. on 12 May 2008 at 9:41 amBob

    [“since we don’t lie and cheat on each other. The incident of cheating, i.e. breaking trust by violating agreements and commitments without a spouse’s consent, is virtually non-existent in committed polyamorous relationships. :]

    Listen to yourself. “Committed polyamorous relationships” That is an oxymoron.

    I hope you meet someone who loves you like a real man should and who would never use you the way you are being used and in return using others. I pray that someone will see you as a unique, dignified, precious woman whom they desire to give themself totally to and in return for you to be a total gift of self to in return. You may never find that as long as you shun the holiness in your life that you are called to in a relationship. First though, you must foster a relationship with the perfect man, He who is Christ.

    Remember the words of Jesus to the woman caught in adultery JOHN 8:10 Then Jesus lifting up himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee? Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go therfore and sin no more.

  11. on 12 May 2008 at 1:42 pmAnita Wagner

    Tricia, check any source on the statistics on cheating in supposedly monogamous marriages and you’ll see what I mean.

    It is clear that you are determined to look at this issue through biased eyes and heart. I will point out that I was in no way disrespectful of monogamy and think it is just fine for those who choose it. The day has come when some people choose something else. You can believe what you want to believe, but you have no right to be disrespectful of others who are different from you. Your way is in no way superior to mine. Heck, marriages with multiple spouses are all over the Bible.

    Why is it that today’s Christians think they have the right to revise the Bible to suit their present-day sensibilities?

  12. on 12 May 2008 at 3:36 pmAnita Wagner

    Bob, I know you haven’t grown up in a world that understands this, but it is entirely possible to make a deep commitment to more than one partner. I and many others have done just that. There is nothing cheap or transient about my relationships. I can see how you might think it’s an oxymoron, since western society equates commitment to relationship with exclusivity, but that idea is a cultural construct that some choose not to follow and for good reasons.

    Mirriam Webster defines commitment as:


    Main Entry: com·mit·ment
    Function: noun
    Date: 1603
    1 a: an act of committing to a charge or trust: as (1): a consignment to a penal or mental institution (2): an act of referring a matter to a legislative committee b: mittimus
    2 a: an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date b: something pledged c: the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled

    Nowhere does this word include a reference to commitment to relationship, and certainly not exclusivity.

    If the divorce rate could be lowered, surely your colleagues would have managed to influence it, but so far, no one has, despite having been afforded millions of tax dollars to attempt it. The statistics on divorce (and cheating) have remained stable for 20 years or more, and they tell the tale. Traditional monogamous marriage works for some but not for many others. Some of us choose a different way and find that it works well FOR US.

    You are entitled to believe what you believe, but you are not entitled to force your beliefs on the rest of us. We’re happy to take our chances with regard to the after life so long as we are acting in an ethical manner.

    I appreciate your wishes for me, I’m sure you mean them kindly, but please know that my partnership with my primary partner is just as deep, loving and committed as any married monogamous commitment – it’s just not exclusive. He cherishes me and tells me this all the time. This is my experience of our relationship, and I have a lot more faith in its solid foundation than I did in either of my traditional marriages where their foundations were undermined by that breach of trust. His behavior demonstrates his sincerity day to day in many ways. No matter who else we feel love for, we are committed to do all necessary to keep our relationship solid and stable. It becomes moreso with every day that passes. We both have a lot of love to give both to each other and to our secondary partners, and sharing it freely with our partner’s blessing is a great joy. Everyone is generous with their time and it works well for us. We are happy in our loving extended family and act responsibly to make sure everyone’s needs and concerns are considered and respected.

    I respectfully request that you save me the proselytizing – I’ve heard it all and know it well because I was raised a Southern Baptist. I have not rejected Christ, but I have rejected mainstream Christianity for it’s manipulation of the Bible to suit its own agenda. I use as an example the scripture you quoted to me. Christ told the woman to go and sin no more. She was an adulterer in that she was having sex with other men without her husband’s knowledge and consent. Perhaps back then a man would never consent to such a thing, just as many wouldn’t today. But the point is that what I am doing is not adultery according to my own values, because there is no cheating. Everything that happens happens with the blessing of all concerned. There is no lying, and no breach of trust. Instead there is a deep and abiding love and respect for all concerned. There are a lot of traditional marriages who can’t make the same claim.

    Reject and condemn polyamory if you must, according to your own values, but you are wasting your time and breath in speaking against it. Your idea of higher authority and ours is clearly very different and not likely to change on anyone’s part.

  13. on 12 May 2008 at 3:36 pmDave


    As I watch you and Tricia debate the incidence of cheating in monogamous and polyamorous relationships, it seems you’re both stretching the truth to fit your own world views. While you say that cheating is “virtually non-existent” in the poly world, the science of psychology has shown otherwise:

    Rubin & Adams (1986) found that after several years, there was no significant difference in marital stability (i.e. breaking up vs. staying together) between those couples who had been polyamorous versus those whose marriages had been exclusive.

    That’s a far cry from “virtually nonexistent”. Of course I suppose it depends on your definition of cheating. In a monogamous relationship like traditional marriage, we commonly promise to “forsake all others”, so it’s pretty clear when you’re cheating. But in a poly relationship, what would you consider as cheating? What promises do you make, privately or within the context of solemnizing a relationship, and what promises do you make in a public and legal sense? Nevertheless the break-up rate is a telling sign that your phrasing “virtually nonexistent” is just rhetoric, and not substantively true.

    As to Tricia’s claim that people in monogamous marriages never lie and cheat upon one another, I suppose you could say that’s true in a definitional sense … since once the marriage vows are broken the relationship is, by definition, no longer strictly monogamous. But this is just playing games with semantics to avoid the real issue. People make promises to honor a monogamous relationship, and then in a number of cases sadly they break those promises. According to a 1994 study by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, the number of people who cheat on their spouses is between 3% and 4% each year. Many of these people are repeat offenders. Another study in 2000, by a team at the University of California – Irvine, found that 11% of adults cheated on their spouse at some point during their marriage. While this is a sad statistic, it also shows that the large majority of marriages do have a faithful husband and wife. Divorce rates may be higher, but there are other reasons for divorce besides marital unfaithfulness.

    The real question that ought to be considered, however, is not merely whether the relationship partners are happy with any particular arrangement … but whether the relationship model is good for society as a whole. In other words, does it merit the special rights accorded to it? This is how we’ve collectively agreed through the passage of thousands of years that monogamous marriage is the model we want to uphold, in order to form the building blocks of civilization. Like SSM, the liberal thinking used by proponents of polyamorous relationships is rooted in self-focused values rather than values that benefit society at large.

  14. on 12 May 2008 at 8:17 pmDave

    Upon further reflection, I’m beginning to see why Anita might describe cheating as “virtually nonexistent” in the polyamorous world. It’s a matter of perspective and definition. In the poly world, the argument goes … if you haven’t agreed to exclusivity, then hooking up with another partner cannot (by definition) be considered as “cheating”.

    Moreover, in the poly world, you might not be agreeing to permanence in a relationship either. This excerpt from AlterNet may help to illuminate their point of view:

    If a relationship ends, it is not considered a failure. Rather, the quality of time together is considered a truer measure of success, and separation or divorce is simply perceived to be the last stage of a fully mature relationship.

    Respectfully I must disagree with this notion that cheating is impossible in the poly world. You see, there is another way to gauge cheating – when you ask yourself, “am I being deceptive by omission?” If you promise to a partner than you will be honest about the other people you hook up with, but then hide the truth about a secondary relationship, you’re cheating. If you hook up with a new partner without being honest in disclosing your polyamorous nature to them, you’re cheating. So it is possible; just google “Can Poly People Cheat”. Or read this from

    It is certainly possible to cheat within a poly relationship. People often have agreements about the circumstances under which it is ok to get involved with someone new, or who it is ok to get involved with, and breaking those agreements can certainly be considered cheating.

    Meanwhile, back on the social policy front, it’s worthwhile to let these observations sink in. Polyamorous folks not only miss out on (1) exclusivity, but also on (2) permanence. Admittedly this is a conscious choice made by the participants. But what about any children who are born into such a situation? Do they have a voice, or a choice, in any of this? Of course not. And these same two factors weigh heavily upon their well-being. With attention being divided among multiple partners, due to the lack of exclusivity in the adult relationships, are the children somehow receiving less focus that they ought to be getting during their upbringing? With the permanence of relationships being diminished, are children being subjected to undue upheaval in their home life? Moving beyond these early-life questions, what happens when the partners grow old – can you rely on your partners to take care of you, or will they just cast you aside in the interest of keeping things fresh and fluid? All of these criticisms share one common thread, in as much as they revolve around the distinction between selfishness and selflessness. And it is the same self-centered thinking we find in the liberal justification for SSM. Often we hear the argument that homosexual and polyamorous behavior exist within other species of mammals. Yet human beings are called to a higher and nobler existence than other animals. We are called to be other-focused, and this is how civilizations first took root and flourished. Ultimately it is through this ability to subjugate our own self interests, and to voluntarily serve the best interests of others, that mankind betters itself. When we turn our back on these principles, we are beginning to unravel the social fabric that binds us together, and starting down the road to social chaos.

  15. on 13 May 2008 at 5:26 amits playroom

    In my opinion, the mistake being made by the likes of Dave and Bob above, is that they believe polyamory to be a selfish pursuit, which suggests that they have not grasped the concept.

    Unlike an open or promiscuous relationship, polyamory is based on the principle that love is not a finite emotion. If you love someone, and love decelops for a second person, it does not mean that you love the first any less. Many people use children as an analogy for this – when a second child comes along, is the first less loved as a result?

    I think that, were I to insist that your partner could love me alone, I would be treating her as a possession, which is incorrect. I have a wonderful relationship, and at present it is monogamous – but as a polyamorist I am open to the idea that my GF may meet someone with whom she has a deep emotional connection, and a fulfilling relationship. We would discuss it, and I would meet the potential second partner before anything happened. The same is true where I am concerned.

    Ultimately, polyamorous relationships take a lot of confidence, trust, openness and honesty to work out. I would never suggest that they are right for everyone. I would, however, urge people to be a little more open to the idea that they work wonderfully for some people, and as no harm is being done to anyone (again, OPEN and HONEST) then observers should not take offence, nor react with the aggression shown here.

  16. on 13 May 2008 at 9:10 amDave

    OK – let’s not mistake disagreement and debate for “taking offense” and “reacting aggressively”. Clearly nobody is preventing folks from their polyamorous pursuits, if that is their choice. Although if the pattern of argument repeats itself, as it’s been shown before with the LGBT activists, we will most likely begin to hear false claims of “persecution” and “violence”. What we are discussing is not inhibiting one’s personal freedom, but simply whether polyamory deserves to be legitimized. I’m just surprised we got to this point so quickly. I can still remember Anne Stanback being asked “What’s special about two?” during the hearings on SSM and “civil unions”.

    It’s an interesting notion – this claim that “polyamory is based on the principle that love is not a finite emotion.” It sure sounds like a faith-based argument to me! The reality, of course, is that we are very much limited and finite beings in other respects that matter greatly to our relationships with others. We all have a limited amount of time to share. We all must live in the same 24 hours each day. We all have limited resources. Your bank account is not infinite. The number of square feet that your family lives within is not infinite. And in the end we all have a finite life span. Therefore, what we choose to give to one person or one pursuit – especially from that most precious commodity, time – is something that consequently becomes unavailable to others. Once again, I am reminded of the interest of children in these decisions made by adults. Yes, we have free will and adults can make conscious choices to experiment in this way, but is it fair when there are children involved? That is where the question of selfishness most rears its head.

  17. on 13 May 2008 at 5:39 pmAnita Wagner

    I’ve skimmed recent comments and promise to return here tomorrow and respond more directly if I miss anything here now.

    I wanted to share a few more thoughts and some info. As to the rate of cheating in monogamous marriages, I’ve just come across the following from a piece on Huffington Post:

    Cookie Magazine and “AOL Body” did a survey on the subject and 30,000 people responded. As far as surveys go, that is a big number, and it’s even bigger when you consider that their questions were aimed solely at married women with children. Yep, lots of mommies are getting action on the side.

    The survey, “Sex and the American Mom,” revealed that 34% of these married moms is in the midst of, or has already had, an affair.
    Now I don’t post this with any glee. Cheating, the sneaking around breaching of trust kind, affected my life in many ways over time, and there was a lot of heartbreak involved. The one thing I know is that I have no reason to cheat, i.e. lie, or be cheated on, i.e. be lied to, as a poly person. Trust stays intact. That’s huge for me. I never want to have anything to do with the lying and sneaking around and the breach of trust that leads to the pain and suffering of that kind of betrayal. I honestly find dealing with jealousy, a natural human emotion, preferable.

    As to whether cheating happens in poly relationships, certainly we hear about people here and there who just can’t deal with being honest with their spouses and/or are unwilling or unable to develop the communication and negotiation skills to make polyamory work, and they cheat anyway. Some cite liking the excitement and intrigue of it all – go figure. I don’t approve of that any more than anyone here would. They fail at polyamory and self-select out, which is just fine with me. Being cheating on, i.e. lied to and betrayed without our knowledge or consent, is no more fun for poly people than it is for monogamous people.

    Cheating is much less a factor in the failure of poly relationships than it is in monogamous ones, for understandable reasons. Not saying that makes poly better, just that relationships, whether poly or mono, have their challenges and take work to keep happy, though sometimes hard work still doesn’t accomplish the goal, whether the relationship is monogamous or polyamorous.

    As far as we can tell at this point, poly relationships hold up as well as monogamous ones do, but probably not much better. They work well for some, and not for others. People change, incompatibilities develop, and quite honestly, because women don’t have to depend on anyone else for support, we can choose to end relationships that don’t sufficiently meet our needs any longer, just as men can do.

    One of the good aspects of polyamory is that many people who would otherwise leave a long-term marriage or relationship because something is missing that they need have at least the opportunity, if both spouses agree, to supplement the existing relationship with other connections that fill in the missing pieces. I know many people for whom this has worked and worked well. Families that would otherwise be torn apart stay intact. We don’t have to divorce or throw out the entire relationship to get what we need, whether it is companionship because our spouse travels a lot for work, or whether it is something else. There are lots of reasons, and they are far from all about sex.

    This is not to say that polyamory is the solution to a seriously troubled relationship. In fact, it’s a very bad idea in most of those kinds of situations. But spouses who agree to explore opening their marriage together to permit the addition of other loves and who do well communicating, taking responsibility for their own emotions and soforth, actually do pretty well and find the benefits worth the risk.

    Though polyamorists tend to be positive about their sexuality, in general our relationship are no more about sex than monogamous relationships are, though I’ll have to say that we do have some options for getting those needs met, too, when the passion has died, or a spouse we dearly love has a lowered interest or even has health problems that prevent them from functioning well sexually.

    Humans live twice as long as they did 150 years ago, and today the world changes very rapidly. People change careers two or three times in their lives where they used to never do so. With change in circumstances often comes changing needs. And it’s very difficult to be all things to one person over the long haul when marriage till death do us part means being married to the same person for 50 or 60 years instead of 25 or 30 years as was the case before modern medicine began extending lives. I’m NOT saying that a 50 or 60 year marriage isn’t something to be proud of. It’s just a lot harder to do in today’s world.

    I know these seem like strange ideas, but I’m being honest about how life is for we polyamorists. I appreciate the comments of those who are engaging here a civil exchange of points of view, very much. Will check back with you again.

  18. on 13 May 2008 at 6:56 pmTricia

    Dave has done an excellent job of elucidating the important issues, societal, and especially for children, that polyamorists are not considering when they make this choice for themselves.

    As he has explained—the choice to be polyamorous stems from selfishness. I still maintain that it also has to do with a lack of self-discipline, self-restraint or whatever you want to call the unwillingness to deny gratification of one’s passions for a greater good.

    A minor quibble I have (Dave):

    1. I don’t feel that I was “stretching the truth to fit [my] own world view.” Maybe it is just semantics, but it seemed to me that Anita was DEFINING “monogamous marriages” simply as ALL those in which there was *one man married to one woman,* regardless of the level of infidelity or faithfulness in any of those marriages.

    There has been far too much degrading of the institution of marriage, and lowering of expectations for fidelity, over the past few decades for me to accept the notion that simply having one legal spouse (regardless of infidelities) constitutes “monogamy.”

  19. on 13 May 2008 at 8:29 pmDave

    Anita – that’s an interesting and highly unusual source of statistics on infidelity. I’ll leave it up to everyone else to decide which is more believable … Cookie Magazine and “AOL Body” … or the University of Chicago and the University of California.

    Beyond that, I’ve “skimmed” your comments, and one thing I notice is that – while you offer heartfelt description of the value that you personally find in the freedom of polyamory – you don’t really offer up a defense of its value to the rest of society. How it is valuable either to you or to other partners in a poly relationship is not enough to justify any action in the legislative sphere. And in this sense, the discussion seems to mirror those who seek to justify SSM based solely upon the self-focused interests of the partners. Maybe you’d care to respond to some of the points that I raised earlier in comment # 7 above. However, I do appreciate the level of civility that has been kept in this discussion, even while we disagree.

    Tricia – thank you for reminding us that merely having a legal spouse does not necessarily equal “monogamy”. I think we’re actually on the same page. In referring to “monogamous marriages”, we just got caught up in the subtle distinction between “intending to enter a monogamous relationship at the inception of marriage” and “honoring the commitment of a monogamous relationship for the duration of marriage”. As many discover, the first part is easier than the second; but I say this only as an acknowledgement of the reality of a broken world, not as an endorsement of it. Ultimately we do agree. What matters, of course, is the true commitment to honoring one’s promises. And it’s a promise we make not only to our spouse, but also to our future children and indeed to the rest of society. It is for this reason that we typically solemnize wedding vows with witnesses present and under the umbrella of some external authority that confirms the marriage agreement. Marriage is more than just what two people make of it, and it’s these elements that play out upon the larger stage that make the crucial difference between a private arrangement and a social institution.

  20. on 14 May 2008 at 6:20 amits playroom

    Having reread previous posts on this thread (my own included) I realise I was wrong to suggest that there was aggression in prior comments. In truth I had just had a frustrating conversation with someone close to me on this very subject, and was obviously feeling defensive. Apologies for this.

    I’d like to pick up on the question of selfishness, but before I do I’d like to reiterate that I would not advocate polyamory for people who are happy in monogamous, faithful relationships. It works for me, and thousands of others like me. When done right, it is not to the detriment of others, and it is a wonderfully enriching experience for everone involved. When done wrong it is equally as harmful as dysfunctional monogamous marriages.

    Obviously partners tend to be the focus of the selfishness debate, with many thinking that not committing one’s self to another exclusively indicates that they wish to keep a part back for someone else, or for themself. I’d like to look at this from a different perspective. I shall try not to repeat myself, but my GF and I have a wonderful, loving relationship. We live together, we are open and honest, and at present we don’t have secondary partners. If, however, she was to meet someone who could enrich her life in a way that I cannot, would it not be selfish of me to want her to miss out on that?

    On the question of selfishness where children are concerned, I am not really in a position to comment as I am not a parent. From what I have read, however, there are a great number of polyamorous couples/triads/quads with children, and it works very well. The parent-child bond is obviously stronger with the biological parents, and in addition there may additional supportive, loving adults who are present.

    On a seperate note, I am in total agreement with Tricia’s comments on the degradation of the institution of marriage. This is no more true than in my home country of England – the divorce rate has just exceeded 50%, and predictions on rates of infidelity are varied, but consistently depressing.

  21. on 14 May 2008 at 6:42 amits playroom

    On the question of polyamory and faith, I read the following on another blog, and would be very interested to hear people’s thoughts on it. In particular I’d be interested to hear any quotes from the bible which contradict what the OP is suggesting.

    Quoted text:
    I was raised Christian, and it was because of my extensive Bible study that I became polyamorous. In the Old Testament, many key figures had multiple wives with God’s blessing; Solomon had 300! God commanded Abraham to take a second wife.

    In the New Testament, Jesus never mentions monogamy, even though polygamy was then a common practice among the Jews. Jesus taught about Love, and made no separate reference to “married love.” He taught about loving everyone, even sinners and foreigners.

    Paul’s only comment about monogamy is that a bishop should have only one wife — because he wouldn’t have enough time with two or more. Polygamy was a part of common Christian practice for hundreds of years, before the civil authorities outlawed it.

  22. on 14 May 2008 at 6:57 amBob

    Playroom, Great name. It fits the ideology as well. It’s not that I don’t grasp the concept, I just outright reject it as illicit. Comparing your desire for sexual intimate relationships with many other people to a mother capable of loving more than one child saying, “she doesn’t love the first child any less” is wrong. That tells me that you have not actually grasped the concept of what love is. Love is always sacrificial.

    What you describe as love is in fact not love but lustful desire. People say, I love pizza or I love the beach, when you refer to this type of love, you mean desire of things that bring you pleasure. You may “love” having sexual relations with many other persons but that is not love. It is a form of idolatry, of pleasure worship. Humans create many gods for themselves to worship. Sex, power, money, ambition; these are all the ways that people are guilty of breaking the first commandment, putting these things in place of God as idols they worship.

    To see real love, look for the man who cares for his wife stricken with cancer, day by day selflessly giving all for the sake of his beloved. Or for the woman who cares for her husband, bedridden with a stroke and for years cares for him. Both types of spouses are faithful in love and sacrifice of their marital vows and promises, for better or worse in sickness and in health.

    These people love, not for the things they get from others, they do it simply because they see their beloved as part of them, and they are persons worthy of love, created by God with dignity. Love is a purposeful act of the will, not a feeling, desire or emotion. Love is giving all of self for the beloved, without desiring anything in return.

  23. on 14 May 2008 at 8:46 amDave

    While I don’t believe the question of legitimizing polyamory should be decided based upon a religious argument, Playroom brought up the subject through his quote. So let’s consider the issue of polygamy in the Bible.

    It’s true that there are occurrences in the Old Testament narratives of men with plural wives, but this doesn’t show that God sanctioned it. In fact, when you stop to think of it, the stories in the Bible are full of examples where people did many other things which were contrary to God’s will, and it would be a mistake to think that just because the story appears within the text of the Bible that this of itself implies that God approved. Quite to the contrary, many of the stories are included within the Bible to illustrate the consequences of choosing to act against God’s will, and also to illustrate God’s mercy in spite of our rebellion against Him.

    God’s model from marriage is demonstrated in Genesis through the story of Adam and Eve, and reaffirmed through Jesus Christ in the gospels:

    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matthew 19: 4-6)

    The quote claims that God told Abraham to take a second wife, but that’s not true. Re-check the story in Genesis 16. It wasn’t God who told him to do that; it was his own wife Sarah! So what really happened here is that Abraham had his first wife, Sarah, and then had an illegitimate son through Hagar. This was an adulterous sin, not in accordance with God’s will. Afterwards what we see is that God’s covenant promises flowed down through the line of his son Isaac, born of Sarah. They didn’t flow down through the line of Ishmael, born of Hagar. A reasoning person will consequently understand what God approved, and what God did not approve. In fact the Bible records in Genesis 21 that God commanded Abraham to send away Hagar and Ishmael, and that Abraham obeyed. Later we read in Genesis 25 that the descendants of Ishmael “lived in hostility toward all their brothers”; arguably this is the historical root of the hostility still evident today between Israel and its neighbors. Far from a blessing, this disobedience to God by taking another woman brought judgment not only upon Abraham, but also his descendants. Sarah death is recorded in Genesis 23, and later Abraham took a legitimate second wife (Keturah) as recorded in Genesis 25.

    We are told that Solomon had hundreds of wives and concubines. Was this a good thing in the eyes of the Lord? By no means, for we are also told “Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (1Kings 11: 6) as a result of this disobedience. And he brought judgment upon not only himself, but the entire nation of Israel, as a consequence of these sins. For the kings of Israel were commanded by God’s law (Deuteronomy 17: 17) not to multiply wives unto themselves.

    Divorce and remarriage were likewise practiced by the Hebrews, but as Jesus explained:

    “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 19: 8-9)

    The metaphor of the “husband and his wife” relationship and the “Christ and his church” relationship is a recurring theme in New Testament writings. But in keeping with this metaphor, the relationship is always been two parties.

    Moreover, in the gospels and throughout the remainder of the New Testament, references to the relationship between a husband and his wife are always given in singular form. There is no longer any affirmation of numerosity. The reason why is that Christ set straight our proper understanding of God’s law and original intent for marriage. Polygamy and divorce arose because of the hardness of our hearts, and through our rebellion against God’s original plans for mankind. “It was not this way from the beginning”, and now we know even more clearly through the Son that these things remain contrary to His good and perfect will.

  24. on 14 May 2008 at 9:36 amits playroom

    Hi Bob,
    I do understand what you are saying, but I think that you are still fundamentally missing the point of polyamory. It is not about sexual satisfaction, or the ability to have one person with whom you are in love, and a number of others who you have sex with. It is about having that emotional, not physical connection, with more than one partner. Having spent a while in poly forums etc, I was pleasantly surprised to find many poly people who have 2nd relationships which are entirely non-sexual.

    Also, although i see that the two examples you cite are emotive and emotional situations which occur daily, I hope one can see true love in action without the need for life-threatening diseases.

  25. on 14 May 2008 at 10:25 amBob

    Extensive Bible Study? Jesus never mentions monogomy?

    JESUS does say in MATTHEW 19:4 He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason “A” man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the “TWO” shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”

    A man and A woman. These “Two” become one. Not more than two.

    Polygamy was part of Christian Society for thousands of years???? Are you kidding? Where? When? Poppycock!

  26. on 14 May 2008 at 5:44 pmTricia

    On polygamy in the Bible, Dave and Anita, I guess I disagree with both of you somewhat. Yes, there were clearly “marriages with multiple spouses” in the OT—and yes, Anita, it would be “revise[ing] the Bible to suit their present-day sensibilities” to pretend that there were not.

    However, Dave and Anita, the key words here which Dave has quoted from Deuteronomy are: “commanded by God’s law (Deuteronomy 17: 17) not to **multiply wives unto themselves.”** Clearly, Anita, Samuel then, and many people now, whether polyamorists or others who read the Old Testament and then decide to ‘take it upon themselves’ to go and do likewise—are “multiply[ing] wives unto themselves” rather than taking another wife with God’s authorization. There is a BIG DIFFERENCE.

    As one OT example, Dave, which shows that God did authorize/approve SOME plural marriages, see 2 Samuel 2:2 in which David’s 2 wives Ahinoam and Abigail are mentioned. David at that time was in good standing with God, and in verse 4 was anointed “king over the house of Judah.” He was still in good standing in Chpt. 8, where in verse 6 “The LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.”

    It was in Chpt. 11 (2 Samuel) when David “tarried still at Jerusalem” (instead of going with his armies) and saw and indulged his lusts with Bathsheba (and then endeavored to cover his sins) and sent her husband off to be killed. There he clearly turned against what God had authorized, because he succumbed to his own carnal desires and weakness, and then compounded his sins by betraying the loyal Uriah (husband of Bathsheba).

  27. on 14 May 2008 at 5:54 pmTricia


    Of course you can DO what you want, but you don’t get to redefine the meanings of words and institutions for everyone else, and society in general—as I believe Bob or someone alluded to earlier on this or another thread.

    As an example, you wrote in your post #11:

    “the point is that what I am doing is not adultery according to my own values, because there is no cheating.”

    This is another of your rationalizations, as the meaning of “adultery” in the dictionary is “voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another who is not the lawful spouse.” If any of your partners is married, then you and he are involved in “adultery,” whatever YOU want to *call it.*

  28. on 14 May 2008 at 6:19 pmTricia

    Adam, Dune, Anita, and many polyamorists and posters may not be aware of the activist group including many prominent gay activists, They came out with a “Manifesto” 2 or 3 years ago, demanding “rights” and government financial support and benefits for not only same-sex couples, but polyamorists, polygamists etc, “regardless of citizenship status.”

    All this exposure, shall we say (Dune, who does not like the Courant article being described as “promoting” polyamory), of this cultural phenomenon just further undermines (or is another attack upon) the basic foundation of society, Marriage and traditional families. It IS a “slippery slope” we are on, in ‘redefining’ marriage and what constitutes a family, or an acceptable environment in which to raise children.

    What we read about often or see in the media, let alone what government puts a “stamp of approval” upon is what we get MORE of. Just consider the examples of couples cohabiting instead of getting married, and young unmarried girls and women getting pregnant and choosing to raise a child alone.

    “Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.” (Alexander Pope)

  29. on 15 May 2008 at 8:47 amDave


    Whether we agree or not on God’s approval of polygamy in certain historical circumstances, one thing we can at least agree upon is that God’s law does not sanction sexual relationships outside or marriage. Polyamory (which is what started this thread of discussion) is not the same level of commitment as polygamy, because the partners do not join together in marriage and make legally binding promises of fidelity and support.

    There was at least one valid path into polygamy under Old Testament law, which was the custom of levirate marriage – in which a brother is obligated to marry the widow of his childless deceased brother. It only happened under a very narrow circumstance, when the brothers were “living together” (i.e. sharing the same home) and “one of them dies without a son”. It seems that the societal purpose of this practice was to legally ensure the continued support of the widow, and to ensure the precious land owned by her deceased husband (precious because it was a portion of the original land given to the people by Yahweh) would be inherited by a kinsman.

    There are some other laws in Deuteronomy pertaining to occurrences of polygamous marriage, in a regulative sense. That is to say, acknowledging the custom was practiced by the people of the ancient Middle East, and prescribing laws to govern it in an orderly way. For example, there are laws meant to ensure fair and equitable treatment of the wives and their children.

    There was also a custom in the ancient Middle East of kings marrying the daughters of neighboring kings to create allies, and of taking wives from conquered lands. These practices reinforce the linkage between controlling land and being obliged to oversee and support the people of the land.

    One theme flowing through all of this is the intention that men would take on the additional burden of another wife not merely for their own self-interest, but for the sake of providing shelter and support in a male-dominated culture. Again the motivation is a very important and telling sign.

    You cited II Samuel 2: 2 to point out that David already had 2 wives when he was anointed as King. But don’t forget that Abigail was a widow, and taken into David’s household only after the death of her original husband Nabal (as retold in I Samuel 25).

    Ultimately the story of King David leads to him taking additional wives and concubines, though not all of them in noble ways ordained by God. As a result David and his family paid the price through many negative outcomes. David’s firstborn, Ammon, raped Tamar, his half sister. Ammon’s half brother, Absalom, killed Ammon to avenge for Tamar’s rape. David’s fourth son, Adonijah, tried to usurp the throne from Solomon, who was born to Solomon by Bathsheba. With so much turbulence and division in the wake of these multiple marriages driven by self-interest (rather than selflessness), we might be able to discern what God approves and what He does not. Clearly, while David was a great king of Israel, not everything he did was approved and blessed by God. Indeed, his sins made him realize how dependent he was upon God, and instilled in him a proper fear and respect of the Lord. The story exists for an important illustrative purpose, not to uphold David as a shining example of perfection (which he most certainly was not!) but instead to show that God calls us to repentance and can restore us through His love.

    However, we do not any longer live under the demographic circumstances of the ancient Middle East, with such high rates of mortality among men (through their labors and struggles) that would necessitate circumstances of polygamy to adequately provide for the well-being of women and their children. We live in a society that has a roughly equal ratio of men and women. Polygamy in our modern world would consequently deprive some men of their rightful opportunity to create a family unit. Which brings us back to the original plan set forth by God, and reaffirmed by Jesus during his walk on Earth:

    For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2: 24)

    How many times can a man leave his mother and father? Only once. This is the ideal model of marriage which God intends for us, barring exceptional circumstances.

  30. on 15 May 2008 at 10:27 amBob

    I stand by my original assertion to playrooms quote that “Polygamy was a part of common Christian practice for hundreds of years.” The emphasis is on CHRISTIAN. This means The New Testament, this means the teachings of Jesus Christ, He who is the New Covenant.

    As Dave rightly pointed out, the old testament ways are not continued with the revelation and the fullfillment of God’s Word in Christ. As Dave also mentioned, Jesus rightly points out the real reason why divorce was given by Moses; because of the hardness of the peoples hearts. Jesus came to put all things Right. Some would have it otherwise.

  31. on 16 May 2008 at 11:34 amAnita Wagner

    Bob – The source I quoted on infidelity is just one of many. We can quibble about whose source is more valid or respected, but the bottom line on infidelity in marriage is that it is clearly happening at a significant level.

    I have yet to read any predictions that I find compelling that permitting people to form families with and marry whomever they love will lead to societal chaos, and that includes such luminaries as Stanley Kurtz. No one credible, i.e. who I believe is unbiased, has made such a prediction. I can point to family law experts like Columbia Law’s Elizabeth Emens who support what you oppose. We all have our highly qualified experts and believe they are either credible or not, depending on our own view and intellectual honesty.

    I don’t see that the numbers of people who choose another form of family and/or marriage are great enough to ever challenge the dominant model of marriage. What I see is a lot of people spending a lot of money, including mine in the form of taxpayer-funded programs, to shore up what is an overly-idealized, historically relatively recent family paradigm that is not especially superior to other forms of family. Male female couples will always pair bond, nest and have children. That isn’t going to change. Because homosexuality is indeed an orientation and not simply a choice, there aren’t ever going to be enough same-sex couples out there to every be close to a majority. Polyamory, to be successful, requires significant levels of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, love, compassion, forgiveness, patience, and a tolerance for frequent dialogue, especially early in a relationship, to work well, and many don’t wish to engage in something that labor intensive. Many more just plain old prefer monogamy, and that’s OK.

    What I am talking about instead is permitting a level of diversity in relationship choice that is unlikely in my opinion to tilt the scales in favor of non-traditional relationships as a dominant family model. Even if there were convincing evidence that same-sex marriage and polyamory either separately or together pose a serious threat, the numbers of people likely to choose or identify as either or both of these just aren’t that great.

    I am not conceding that these would pose a significant threat to our society if they did represent a majority of families and am only saying that I believe the concern about alternative families doing any real harm to be moot for lack of significant enough representative numbers.

    Certainly neither I nor my colleagues who wish to raise awareness of the legitimacy of polyamory as an alternative to monogamy make it our mission to pursuading others to join us, though we do welcome the support of anyone who supports our existence. We just want people to know they have another option, and the first amendment guarantees us the right to speak out and share that information.

    So my view is that the investment of time and money attempting to deny same sex couples the right to marry is a huge waste, as are the hostile emotions directed in other fora toward we polyamorists.

    Hope I’ve responded to most of your questions. My schedule has been crazy this week and will continue to be for a while, so I’ve only been able to skim over what has been said here more recently. I may not get back this way again. That’s probably OK, as I feel like I’ve said about everything I can say on all this. Thanks for listening and considering.

  32. on 16 May 2008 at 12:37 pmDave

    In the interest of sharing complete information, I just want to point out that Anita Wagner is not just an everyday person making a random visit to this blog to express her personal views on polyamory. She is a professional activist on behalf of this issue, and a member of the Board of Directors for “Loving More” – a nonprofit group devoted to championing the cause of polyamory. The full truth about her role as an opponent to groups like FIC becomes readily apparent when you read this document from her web site:

    It appears that they are very afraid of people like Maggie Gallagher and Stanley Kurtz, who are able to clearly articulate a well-reasoned defense of traditional marriage, and use that knowledge to empower and mobilize people like you and me. It is likewise apparent that they look to SSM as “paving the way” to future acceptance of a polyamorous marriage structure.

    As I observe the SSM debate, and now the polyamory debate, I am becoming increasingly convinced that the words we employ against each other’s positions are really wasted efforts. We are not going to convince or persuade these folks, when they are diametrically opposed to us. What we can do is clearly explain our viewpoints to those who have not yet taken a firm stand, and ensure that we effectively marshal our forces in appropriate governmental actions to assert our right of self-determination.

    With this in mind, I am no longer certain that this blog should continue in its present form as a completely open forum to all prospective writers. We are sharing resources with our rivals in a way they would not reciprocate. We are inviting our opponents to attack us on our doorstep incessantly, which simply drains time and energy. I’ve been following this forum since 2004, when it was known as “Connecticut in the Crosshairs”. It wasn’t always wide open to public comments in this way. While I’m sure we’ve gleaned valuable insight into the way our opponents operate through these more open interactions, lately the debate is sounding ever more like a broken record. I’m not sure what the best answer is with respect to this blog, but it is something that should perhaps be re-evaluated. What we really need to do is reinforce the feeling among supporters of the traditional family structure that “they are not alone”. The disproportionate occurrence of postings by strident opponents, who are drawn here like moths to the flame, is a subtly pervasive discouragement to our base of supporters. As this continues to go unchecked, we who are actually in the majority are being misled by the vocal and outspoken nature of our opposition. It’s the squeaky wheel syndrome, whereby a flurry of postings by a small cadre of zealous opponents (on an international basis, no less!) gives the false impression of a groundswell in favor of these so-called “social innovations” (which is about the most polite way that I can refer to them). Maybe we can start a new thread to have a meta-discussion about the pros and cons of postings we’ve received from opponents. It would be interesting to hear others’ viewpoints on this question.

  33. on 17 May 2008 at 10:48 amDavid

    “As Dave rightly pointed out, the old testament ways are not continued with the revelation and the fullfillment of God’s Word in Christ.”

    Careful, that statement can knock the feet out of some of the right wing Christian’s favorite beliefs since y’all often quote Levitical laws to justify your crusades (of course ignoring the ones that you don’t like).

  34. on 17 May 2008 at 3:46 pmDave


    You bring up an interesting point, and one often misunderstood by people who seek to dismiss the entirety of Old Testament law – including the Levitical condemnation of homosexuality. While Jesus brought us a new covenant, He did not eliminate altogether our need to obey God’s commandments. Remember that he said:

    Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5: 17-18)

    Biblical scholars observe that Old Testament law can be divided into 3 categories – ceremonial, civil, and moral. The ceremonial law no longer binds us as Christians; for example, we no longer need to bring animal sacrifices to an altar in God’s temple. The civil law expressed within the Bible is something which we should be mindful of, since it shows us continually how we fall short of true righteousness and how we all need the saving grace provided through Christ our Savior. Finally, the moral law encompasses principles we ought still to follow – not because of false belief that we can earn our salvation by works, but because if we have truly accepted Christ in our heart we should want to obey God’s commands.

    An article by David Philips, entitled “Should We Obey the Law?” (Cross+Way No. 108, Spring 2008, Church Society) provides a good overview of this topic. You can get it online at

    Another good article on this is

    For a simple proof that we still believe in some of the Old Testament laws, consider the 10 commandments. Do we honestly believe that we are no longer obliged by rules such as “Thou shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not steal”? Obviously we still have at least this much agreement upon principles of right and wrong, even while we may differ on other elements of religion.

    In defending homosexuality, people often bring up ridiculous counter-arguments like the OT prohibition of eating shellfish. But this altogether misses the distinction between ceremonial, civil and moral laws. So the real question, regarding the OT condemnation of homosexuality, is into which category of the law does it fall? If you look at the rest of Leviticus 18, you will find prohibitions against many other things we would still agree are immoral: adultery, incest, bestiality, and human sacrifice. It is in this context that we find homosexuality listed as an offense. Given this context, it’s clear that it is not a ceremonial law, but a combination of civil and moral law. To the extent that it is civil law, we have the opportunity as a nation to be merciful in our treatment of offenders (compared with the strict penalties that would have been imposed under the ancient Hebrew system of government). But to the extent that it is also moral law, it remains as much an offense now as it has always been. We should therefore realize that fundamental principles of right and wrong do not change, and are not subject to the whims of mortal man.

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