The Jane Doe Novel Experiment

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Why Legalized #Polygamy Won’t Help Mainstream #Poly

If we woke up tomorrow to legalized polygamy, the entire Fundamental Mormon Church would take advantage and then celebrate like the mild-mannered Mormons they are. But the rest of the poly nation, not even 50/50. Probably more like 20% would benefit and 80% would not take advantage of the legalization.

Of course, I’m making these numbers up, but my reasons for them are sound. The difference between Mormon polygamists and mainstream poly are their religion and values. Mormons have a religious safety net around their whole-wide poly world. They want to be legally married, their family and friends already know that they are poly. They have nothing to hide, nothing more to do than stand in line and sign the marriage papers to ensure that each spouse and child receives benefits and healthcare.

Mainstream polys? It gets a bit tricky. Why?

#1: Religion isn’t a factor: Mormons get married based on religious principles as well as love. When same-sex marriage became legal in a variety of states, I read an article explaining that the states were shocked that the amount of same-sex couples getting married was lower than they predicted. And I thought, why the shock? How many heterosexual couples live together, have kids together, but never marry? Let’s just say a lot. And they have always had the right to do so. Just because someone is able to do something, doesn’t mean they want to do it. Likewise with mainstream polys. How many actually want to marry their respective partners? Probably not as many as you would think.

#2: Lack of support: Mormons again trump in the support arena. Polygamy is built into their religious beliefs. They have the support of their Church, their families and friends. For mainstream polys, the amount of support they receive not only varies by romantic group, but each individual person in that group. One partner may be out to everyone, another, no one. And yet another falls somewhere in between. So even if they all “want” to be married, can the one who is completely out convince the other two to risk it all and come out as well?

Those are just my thoughts as to why if polygamy was legalized tomorrow, every poly group would stand up and cheer, but not as many would step up to the altar.

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3 comments on “Why Legalized #Polygamy Won’t Help Mainstream #Poly

  1. Nick
    July 25, 2012

    I get where you’re coming from. Legal or not, some polyamorist will still keep their life a secret.

  2. the amazon chick
    July 25, 2012

    I see your point. Regardless of relationship orientation, some people don’t want to get married.

    But … I also think that the reason for lack of support for non-Mormon polys is the same reason that poly marriage is illegal. There is a double standard, a stigma surrounding alternative lifestyles – this one in particular. So, if legalization were to happen it would be because the stigma had declined around polyamory and the majority was suddenly more accepting – hence more supportive of it.

    Legitimacy can be a very powerful thing. It’s easy to be ashamed of something, hiding it from the world, when it’s illegitimate.

  3. Anonymous
    July 25, 2012

    I get you chick. does it matter if legalization passes but ploys stay in the closet?

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