A big frickin’ WAHOO for marriage equality is Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota (and hopefully Washington!)! Thank goodness for progress in recognizing love can occur among any two people, and that those people should have the same benefits as hetero couples.
These victories are necessary. They also give me pause in reflecting on the institution of marriage, what it means for J and I, and what it means for the poly community.
It makes so much sense, and at the same time none at all, that the gay marriage movement threw poly families under the bus when working toward marriage equality for gay couples. J actually had a gay classmate tonight express the opinion that he thought the gay movement spent too much effort on “marriage” instead of relationship diversity and benefits for whoever your family is. I had one professor in my masters program that such rights would come with radical welfare reform, in which we could name a certain number of people as beneficiaries, regardless of their relationship to us. I think that’s a pretty rad idea, but like J, I am more of the opinion that we needed to change more perspectives on the emotional meaning of marriage before we could extend domestic partnership rights to more-than-two partnerships.
In fact, J and I were just discussing this yesterday with regards to marijuana legalization initiatives. Radicals usually have creative and innovative ideas. They are also dubbed “radicals” because they are the fringe and not the majority. More moderate thinkers are needed to bridge the divide. And so I understand from a political perspective that marriage rights for two-partner gay couples probably needs to come first before we can expect partnership rights for more-than-two configurations.