Monday, August 9, 2010

Same-Sex Marriage and the Poly Slippery Slope

I'm going to stray a bit here and talk about politics. I don't do it often; I don't like to talk about politics much in my day-to-day life and some of my beloved Chosen have very different ideas than I do about the subject. Also, given the international audience I have here, focusing on USian stuff feels kinda like talking from privilege. I am keenly aware there are many places in the world where doing what I do would be a sentence for stoning.

Nevertheless, there's more than one ache in my heart when I watch the agonizingly slow progress of same-sex marriage coming into its due across the US.

I absolutely believe that same-sex couples are entitled to every right and responsibility that marriage entails. At its core, marriage is a contract between individuals. It has always been that; in times past it might have been between a man and his intended's father, but it has always been a contract. The rights and responsibilities have also varied through time. In the current setup in the US leaves no good reason why same-sex couples should be excluded. The judge spoke wisely and truly when the court held that:

"moral disapproval of homosexuality, animus towards gays and lesbians or simply a belief that a relationship between a man and a women is inherently better than a relationship between two men or two women, ... is not a proper basis on which to legislate."
I can't applaud those word strongly enough. My heart aches for those who are waiting to legalize relationships which have lasted, in some cases, for decades.

Yet, at the same time, I am saddened by the same-sex marriage activist community in some very personal ways. You see, one of the grounds often used to attack same-sex marriage is the slippery slope argument that it would, in turn, lead to such perversions of marriage as... gasp... multiple-partner relationships! And the inevitable, invariable response to this charge is a resounding "No! That will never happen! That would be icky!"

And all I can do is sigh.

There are reasonable, laudable objections to multi-partner legal marriage, but all of them could be worked through with thought and planning. Chief among these are the abuses of women by some polygynous religions, of course, but people ignore something in this: these women will be abused anyway, no matter what the legal status of the marriage is, because the people committing these abuses are scofflaws to begin with. It doesn't negate the idea of contracts between multiple individuals for such things as childcare, insurance, visitation rights... in short, all of the things that those in hetero marriages now take for granted and same-sex couples are fighting to be able to enjoy.

But Jukebox or Copper being able to make medical decisions for me absent my input? Easily leave me property, or the other way around? Maybe even make immigration easier?

It won't happen in my lifetime, I am sad to say. Whereas same-sex marriage is almost on the verge of possibility in the US within a decade, I know I'm going to have to do more legal wrangling than anyone should have to in order to make sure everything works for me and my loves to do what we need to be able to do to care for one another, as committed partners should.

So, my beautiful same-sex-coupled friends, I am excited and hopeful for you. Almost nothing would make me happier than to be able to dance at your weddings.

Almost. I'd really like to be able to dance at my own, too - with both of my husbands.

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