Polygamy Advocates Lay Groundwork for Civil Rights Revolution

first_imgThe Daily Signal 26 April 2020Family First Comment: AS PREDICTED – unfortunately……This has led to “the American Psychological Association’s creation last year of its Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force, formed to destigmatize such relationships and explore changes in public policy. Schechinger, the task force co-chair, said it’s much easier to stereotype and hate a marginalized group when people in the normative majority operate by stereotypes and misinformation. “That’s part of what the task force is seeking to accomplish–to gather empirical data, promote accurate information about CNM relationships, and ask if these relationships are causing harm or are not,” he said. “And what are the implications on society for promoting a one-size-fits-all model versus promoting people being in touch with what’s the good fit for them.” As with the debates over human nature during the gay rights struggle, non-monogamy advocates are also raising the possibility that desiring multiple sexual partners is less a lifestyle choice and more of a sexual orientation.”Activists are moving to dismantle the legal and social barriers, and say their goals are beginning to take shape.They are laying the groundwork to have their cause become the next domino to fall in a long line of civil rights victories secured by trans people, gays, lesbians, women, and blacks.Not too long ago, those marginalized groups were also viewed as unnatural, depraved, or inferior, until negative judgments became socially unacceptable and often illegal.The aspirations of non-monogamists don’t sound like such a moonshot in an increasingly tolerant society where a transgender man can menstruate and experience childbirth, and Pete Buttigieg, a gay man married to another man, can make a serious run for U.S. president.As the topic breaks into the mainstream, some churches are beginning to grapple with the issue, and polyamorous students are forming university clubs and organizing events.Last fall polyamory got attention, some of it sympathetic, when California Rep. Katie Hill was forced to resign over allegations she was having an affair with a campaign staffer in a “throuple” with her then-husband.A recent TV episode of “House Hunters” featured three adults searching for a home to build their polyamorous nest, and Hollywood celebrities are opening up about their polyamorous lifestyles as well.“There is plenty of evidence that consensual non-monogamy is an emerging civil rights movement,” said Heath Schechinger, a counseling psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-chair of the Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force, recently created within the American Psychological Association. “I’ve heard from a number of people advocating for relationship structure diversity over the past 20 years who are elated about this issue finally gaining traction.”Activists are already working with elected officials in more than a dozen local governments, especially in California, to expand local anti-discrimination ordinances to include a new protected class, “relationship structure,” said Berkeley psychologist and poly activist Dave Doleshal.Most efforts are at the informal stage but the city of Berkeley did consider a formal proposal to extend protections in housing, employment, business practices, city facilities, or education to swingers, polyamorists, and other non-monogamists.The proposal stalled last year amid concerns that it would have required employers to provide health insurance to numerous sexual and romantic partners outside of marriage.Undaunted by that setback, advocates continue to generate a body of ideas and theories that normalize non-monogamy as a form of positive sexuality—and possibly an identity—following a script followed by other marginalized groups.Their efforts have led to reassessments of non-monogamy in the psychological and legal fields, contending the relationships are emotionally healthy and ethical, and thus forging a social movement with a shared identity, shared vocabulary, shared history, and a shared desire for full recognition.Once changes get under way, things can move quickly. The rise of the modern gay rights movement in the mid-20th century led to a decision by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973 to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders (gender dysphoria was de-pathologized in 2012).Those medical reversals are seen as analogous to the American Psychological Association’s creation last year of its Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force, formed to destigmatize such relationships and explore changes in public policy.Schechinger, the task force co-chair, said it’s much easier to stereotype and hate a marginalized group when people in the normative majority operate by stereotypes and misinformation.“That’s part of what the task force is seeking to accomplish–to gather empirical data, promote accurate information about CNM relationships, and ask if these relationships are causing harm or are not,” he said. “And what are the implications on society for promoting a one-size-fits-all model versus promoting people being in touch with what’s the good fit for them.”As with the debates over human nature during the gay rights struggle, non-monogamy advocates are also raising the possibility that desiring multiple sexual partners is less a lifestyle choice and more of a sexual orientation.Conservatives had long warned that redefining marriage to allow same-sex unions would throw open the door to allowing any kind of marriage, from polygamy to incest.Those arguments reached a crescendo when gay marriage was winding its way through the legal system, en route to the 2015 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage.In that 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a dissenting opinion warning of what was to come.“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” Roberts wrote. “Why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry?”Princeton professor of jurisprudence Robert George was among those who warned of the slippery slope.In a 2015 article, he predicted that the civil rights challenges were inevitable, but initially judges would “swat away on procedural grounds the first few constitutional challenges to marriage laws.” Gradually the legal objections will give way to the force of logical consistency.He told RealClearInvestigations in an email that this process is often characterized by indignant dismissal of the logical implications, followed by total capitulation.“Of course, advocates of revising the law denounced us not only as ‘bigots’ but as ‘scare-mongers,’” George said. “There was, they insisted, no ‘slippery slope’ from same-sex marriage to polyamory. The two concepts had nothing to do with each other.“I could see that this was nonsense—often disingenuous nonsense,” George said. “So I am not in the least surprised to see what is happening now. We have quickly gone from, ‘It will never happen,’ to ‘You’re a bigot for thinking there is anything wrong with it.’”READ MORE: https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/04/26/polygamy-advocates-lay-groundwork-for-civil-rights-revolution/last_img

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