Originally Posted by Vanda
I often wonder how things would be different if legal binding agreements to any marriage or unions were outlawed or didn't exist?
Those legal contracts called "marriage" involve a whole lot of agreements. Without having marriage as a form of legal shorthand, all of the ties people have would have to be spelled out--the whole of survivorship, joint ownership, inheritance, powers of attorney, and so on and so forth. Marriage is quite useful from that point of view.
That said, I suspect we'd be better off if folks remember that the marriage contract serves as shorthand for all sorts of other legal bindings and we could develop a variety of such contracts to provide for more customization of marriage agreements.
When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.
While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.