So as same-sex marriage and same-sex partnership rights spread, there has been a lot of talk about benefits. People in queer relationships, like those in heterosexual ones, now have the dubious privilege of being able to marry for health insurance. And of course, there’s a big valid point here about equality.
But I’ve been thinking about polyamory and marriage equality. First gut instinct reaction: hey guys, quit talking so much about how “don’t worry, the slippery slope of same-sex marriage won’t lead to polygamy or anything,” because that’s not very nice. Second reaction: but wait… were I to buy into marriage in the first place, would I really want the government to confer benefits on me based on the status of my intimate relationships?
Of course, poly people aren’t completely excluded from the legal and employer-based benefits of marriage. Many poly people are married, to somebody. But the question is, should the law allow marriage to more than one person, and thus benefits?
From a legal perspective, it gets very sticky of course, because who “counts,” how many marriages can you actually have, etc.? From a social perspective, people are going to throw Mormon polygamy and sexism in your face. And then I have to ask, well, are government benefits really what I want in the first place?