Aussie ABC News Columnist: Marriage Needs Redefining Because Monogamy Does Not Work


Or so Katrina Fox writes:

Simply allowing ‘same-sex’ couples to marry will still leave people like Wilson and many other intersex, sex and/or gender diverse (ISGD) people unable to access the same legal right. A more inclusive option is to allow individuals to get married whatever their sex or gender, including those who identify as having no sex or gender or whose sex may be indeterminate.

But it’s not only gay, lesbian and ISGD people for whom matrimony remains an unequal playing field. Marriage places monogamy at its core and this is supported by both religious fundamentalists who are against same-sex marriage and those campaigning for gay and lesbian people to have the right to marry.

Surely it makes more sense to expand the definition of marriage to include a range of relationship models including polyamory, instead of holding up monogamy as the gold – indeed only – standard. Contrary to myths that people in non-monogamous relationships are unable to commit, a poly lifestyle often involves a great deal of communication between partners and offers them an even greater level of intimacy and capacity to love.

“So many people are miserable in their relationships, and it’s about letting go of false expectations that one person can do it all,” says sex educator Tristan Taormino, author ofOpen Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. “Non-monogamy is about exploring different parts of yourself. There’s an assumption that people in open relationships have no boundaries, but it’s quite the opposite. The way [open relationships] work and when they are satisfying is when people can recognise their limits and agree rules.”

Marriage would also benefit from being expanded to include non-sexual, non-romantic relationships, like the existing Tasmanian relationship register which allows anyone who is in a “personal relationship involving emotional interdependence, domestic support or personal care” to register that relationship. After all if procreation and sex were an essential part of marriage, then infertile, non-libidinous and old people should be barred from walking down the aisle. (source)