American Judge Strikes Blow Against The Duo-Normative Diarchy

     The idea of “marriage equality” has been extended to declare one’s biological sex is irrelevant, yet the limitation of the institution to only two people is still a fight being fought. Recently the attempt to smash the duo-normative diarchy has seen victories domestically and abroad. Now, a New York judge has declared that polyamorous relationships have the same protection that two-person relationships did.

“Why then, except for the very real possibility of implicit majoritarian animus, is the limitation of two persons inserted into the definition of a family-like relationship for the purposes of receiving the same protections from eviction accorded to legally formalized or blood relationships? Is ‘two’ a ‘code word’ for monogamy? Why does a person have to be committed to one other person in only certain prescribed ways in order to enjoy stability in housing after the departure of a loved one? Why does the relationship have to be characterized by ‘exclusivity’? Why is holding each other out to the community as a family a factor? Perhaps, as in the instant case, the triad has chosen to closet their relationship from others? Perhaps the would-be successor is not ‘out’. Maybe they do not believe their ‘real family is open to alternative kinds of relationships. ‘Holding out’ discounts the existence of prejudice and misunderstanding about communities and people that are not ‘normie.’ Do all nontraditional relationships have to comprise or include only two primary persons?

“…

“However, what was ‘normal’ or ‘nontraditional’ in 1989 is not a barometer for what is normal or nontraditional now. Indeed, the definition of “family” has morphed considerably since 1989. Specifically, many articles have been written about multi-person relationships in recent years, revealing a preference that for some has long been known. For example, a recent article from The New Yorker magazine describes the broadening recognition of such relationships and how these relationships are challenging the norm:

“‘In February 2020, the Utah legislature passed a so-called Bigamy Bill, decriminalizing the offense by downgrading it from a felony to a misdemeanor. In June [2020], Somerville, Massachusetts, passed an ordinance allowing groups of three or more people who “consider themselves to be a family” to be recognized as domestic partners….[T]he neighboring town of Cambridge followed suit, passing a broader ordinance recognizing multi-partner relationships. The law has proceeded even more rapidly in recognizing that it is possible for a child to have more than two legal parents. In 2017, the Uniform Law Commission, an association that enables states to harmonize their laws, drafted a new Uniform Parentage Act, one provision of which facilitates multiple-parent recognition. Versions of the provision have passed in California, Washington, Maine, Vermont, and Delaware, and it is under consideration in several other states. Courts in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Texas, Arizona, and Louisiana have also supported the idea of third parents. American conservatism has long mourned the proliferation of single parents, but, if two parents are better than one, why are three parents worse?’ { The New Yorker magazine, March 22, 2021 issue, How Polyamorists and Polygamists Are Challenging Family Norms. See also Polyamory and the Law, Harvard Law Today, August 3, 2021, available at https://hls.harvard.edu/today/polyamory-and-the-law/.}”

     What argument against multi-person marriages is there that wasn’t used against same-sex two-person marriages? The only possible one your humble author could think of is the state finding it important to recognize pair bonding and presuming it normal, natural, applies to everyone, and that “thrupples” are somehow unnatural… an argument that was used against homosexuality when almost everyone presumed that heterosexuality was presumed to be normal, natural, applies to everyone, and that “queerness” is somehow unnatural.

     Hmmm, sounds like the objection to marriages of more than three people is irrational animus.


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