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  #21  
Old 01-04-2010, 01:38 PM
constlady constlady is offline
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Thank you for your words dakid. Though the areas in which we live may be very different, it does give some hope that each case may be judged on its own merits.

As far as attorneys go, I had the good fortune to meet and chat a bit with Diana Adams at the last PolyLiving conference. She was intrigued with my situation, since most of the sexual civil rights cases she handles involve grandparents attempting to remove children from their parents, not the other way around and she told me to call if ever the word polyamory was used in a proceeding against me. She's a very good ally to have on one's side

That said, it is still a very real fear. And while I agree that removing the prejudices surrounding alternative lifestyles is the long term goal, once again my reality is that I and my grandchildren can't wait for that to occur.

Changing minds and hearts and removing prejudices is a generational task.
Very few people open up to changing their core beliefs (no matter how illogical they may be) by being confronted and challenged in a manner which puts them on the defensive. Once most people feel attacked, their response is to put up defenses which rarely allow for even the most logical of arguments to be truly heard.

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Trying to tailor a definition to be more acceptable to mainstream society never really gets very far because it doesn't actually address the underlying prejudice it's trying to negate. This has been seen in the battle many gay people have already fought for more legal rights. None of these rights were gained by trying to create a definition of being gay that excludes the "less desirable" elements.

There are gay people who live in long term settled domestic relationships.

There are gay people who go clubbing and take a new person home every night.

None of these things have to do with the definition of being gay.

The fact that gay people have made advances with legal rights in society isn't because people decided to come up with a clear and concise definition that included one aspect but not the other in order to make it more acceptable to society. If the gay rights activists had tried that, none of the actual prejudices and myths that society holds about being gay would have been addressed and society would take longer to move forward into actual acceptance.
Someone here on another thread recently (and I thought it was Ceoli but can't remember enough about the beginnings of the thread to search it) mentioned that the gay rights movement had actually marginalized the more flamboyant members in their quest for mainstream acceptance. The tactic taken was to highlight the similarities between monogamous heterosexual couples and monogamous homosexual couples and others who didn't fit that model were edged out as the movement progressed. At least that's the way I remember the comment being presented. So there seems to be a dichotomy in perception here that confuses me?

I believe that as human beings we are far more alike than we are different.
But I also believe that the way to achieve meeting the mainstream half way isn't by pointing out the most different members of our community and trying to show how similar they are but by pointing out the most similar members and then expanding outward.

At this moment in time, it's a matter of what works in this existing world, not what the ideal world would look like to me. In my ideal world, no one would actually care how anyone else loved, other than as perhaps a way to expand their own horizons.
Working towards creating that is a long term goal; working towards protecting those who love differently than the current norm until the ideal is achieved is the short term goal.
It may take different tactics to reach both goals.

Someone else mentioned research into children raised in polyfamilies, hopefully to garner support for the idea that there is no inherent detriment to them. My understanding is that such research is currently beginning, though I'd have to dig through another site to remember the details.
It is a known issue among people who are poly activists - we need to have the research to back us up when we take on the status quo.

There are other groups who are funding research and publishing papers and informational brochures for professionals such as social workers, educators, psychiatric practioners etc. in an attempt to educate the very people who might be called upon to determine whether the children in my home are at risk simply because my boyfriend has another girlfriend.

What I'd like to see in terms of legislation at this point in time is simple.
Any agency charged with determining the suitability of a particular home for children should not be basing their recommendation in any way on the parent/guardian's sex life, unless of course that sex life includes abuse of the children, which to my way of thinking is a totally separate issue.
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  #22  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:34 PM
dakid dakid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by constlady View Post
What I'd like to see in terms of legislation at this point in time is simple.
Any agency charged with determining the suitability of a particular home for children should not be basing their recommendation in any way on the parent/guardian's sex life, unless of course that sex life includes abuse of the children, which to my way of thinking is a totally separate issue.

me too, absolutely. we have acheived this in the UK largely because our government signed up to the universal declaration of human rights and went on to adopt european wide legislation to back it up. if any agency here were to judge a childcarer/parent based on their sexuality or sexual practises they would be in breach of this law and could be shown to be so. they didn't do so out of the goodness of their hearts (they are politicians after all!) but because of years and years of sustained pressure from citizens working together to fight for their/our rights.

if only the united states government could be persuaded of the merits of these rights.

a campaign to have the right to a private sex life and to not have your capacity to parent/care measured on the basis of your sex life would unite huge swathes of the population - from unmarried monogamous couples, to polyamorous people, swingers, lgbtqi folk, the bdsm community, promiscuous singletons, the list goes on.

i firmly believe that this is the best tactic because united we are stronger, divided we fall.

if you take into account all of the many ways that people love and share sex outside of marriage and/or monogamy, including so-called kinky or non-vanilla practises and including homosexuality and bisexuality too, i suspect we would find ourselves in the majority! certainly a block of potential voters to be taken seriously by those in power.

as long as each group fights its battle seperately and tries to distance themselves from other groups of people with "alternative" (alternative to what? who is normal and who is the majority?) lifestyle/sexual practises we are easy to dismiss. our strength is in our numbers.

x

ps as i have said i do understand your fear, and it is of course real and valid. however as long as you have access to high quality and supportive legal assistance i really doubt any court would take your children away from you without real evidence that the children were sufferering in your care, which i assume and trust they are not. unless i am missing something - is there a precedent in your state/area which i don't know about perhaps?

Last edited by dakid; 03-15-2010 at 10:33 PM.
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  #23  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenesque View Post
Are you stating that there is a definition or that there isn't? You speak of a lack of definition but then you state that you cannot embrace the definition as it includes lifestyle choices that don't fit you.

Which definition are you finding you cannot embrace? And why does this definition including your lifestyle choice as well as others make you feel you cannot embrace it?

~Raven~
To answer Raven and Ceoli... I guess I thought I had stated my opinion in other threads before but maybe not well enough. I find that the current trend includes sex too much for me, in that it spends far too much time including swinging, friends with benefits types of relationships and open relationships far more than makes me feel comfortable. There is a fine line there, that is true, its just farther to thr sex side than I feel comfortable with. To me the definition of poly includes more loving of many partners in the form of boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse kind of relationships such as our monogamous friends identify. To me there is a coming together of two lives (many in this case) in terms of care of children in some cases but an over all connection of lives. I guess I want people to look at our family and see that rather than who I fuck, in order to make a judgment. I just feel more comfortable in that.Especially in terms of how they see my son being raised.
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  #24  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:55 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakid View Post
if only the united states government could be persuaded of the merits of these rights.
I think that this would be a key in so many different issues of alternative culture.

If we could achieve that we wouldn't have to be fighting about definitions of polyamory, swinging, BDSM or anything like that from the point of view of keeping families together (which has been highlighted here as a major issue for some members).

Judge a family based on the individual environment, rather than based on a set of keywords. Does the family environment provide a good one for kids to grow up in or not?

It is heartening to know that some countries have already gone down this road, knowing that the country of my birth has gone there already warms my heart too, in some strangely illogical way. The fact that it is a country that doesn't explicitly have the separation of church and state in its constitution is even more encouraging.

dakid, has it made a difference? Are people really judged now on the environment for the kids, independent of how many partners someone has in their lives?

One of the other trends I have noticed in the UK that I applaud is the decreased use of "husband" and "wife" in everyday conversation. "Partner" is now used, which doesn't describe the gender or actual marital status of the people. In my experience in the USA, more often than not, using that word implies a homosexual relationship. I hope that that changes.
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  #25  
Old 01-04-2010, 04:09 PM
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For some reason non-monogamy fits better and encompasses more of the love. Even though poly has love as its root in the word.
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  #26  
Old 01-04-2010, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
For some reason non-monogamy fits better and encompasses more of the love. Even though poly has love as its root in the word.
That's interesting because non-monogamy by definition includes swinging and polyamory doesn't.
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  #27  
Old 01-04-2010, 04:17 PM
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Yup, I know. I don't know why that feels better. Maybe because its an older term? I have used it for 13 years now.
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  #28  
Old 01-04-2010, 04:25 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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It might be comfortable for you because after 13 years of using that term you don't have very many assumptions attached to it and the meaning of it is very clear to you. There seem to be more assumptions attached to the word polyamory.

For me, it's more important to address the assumptions than to reshape definitions to accommodate them.
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  #29  
Old 01-04-2010, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
For me, it's more important to address the assumptions than to reshape definitions to accommodate them.

I think this is interesting.

I like the attachment/assumption of honesty, ethics and good communication to polyamory however there could be a real asshole of a polyamorous person out there who is regularly dishonest, doesn't act ethically either, and communication, well forget about it.

Some might say "well that person isn't poly," but why does that seem a natural thing to say for them?

Because a moral high ground is being attached to polyamory. Yes. Without even knowing perhaps, people are setting polyamory up on a pedestal.

If there can be an asshole monogamous person, there can be an asshole polyamorous person.

~Raven~
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  #30  
Old 01-04-2010, 04:38 PM
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That's interesting because non-monogamy by definition includes swinging and polyamory doesn't.
Really? See I used to think that but when I brought up that distinction elsewhere I was told that I was wrong to make that distinction.
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