With increasing attention brought to polyamorous relationships by members of of the Liberal Party, a formalised Polyamory Action Lobby (PAL) has been founded to combat the image of poly people as relationship bogeymen.
A spokesperson for the Sydney-based PAL said fear of differently structured relationships should not be used as a weapon to deny monogamous same-sex couples legal recognition.
The PAL are united in opposition to the Australian Christian Lobby’s (ACL) plan to deny same-sex marriage.
“We’re sick of being treated like the bottom of a slippery slope, the fat end of the wedge and the scary inevitable consequence of legalizing same-sex marriage,” the spokesperson said.
“Our lives and our experiences are not toys for power brokers, politicians and lobby groups to play games with.”
The lobby was set up not only to fight for legal rights, but also to challenge cultural misconceptions about polyamorous relationships.
According to the lobby, polyamory is not the same as polygamy, although the two terms are often taken to mean the same thing.
“When people hear ‘polygamy’ they think of a man with multiple wives, [which is] often taken in a creepy religious way. But polyamory can be between many people of differing genders and is always consensual,” the spokesperson said.
“We’re against those traditional polygamous relationships that are oppressive in nature. We also think that it’s disingenuous of politicians, especially those on the left who know better, to conflate that sort of polygamy with consensual polyamory.”
The lobby contends there is no reason adults should not be able to form committed relationships with more than one person, and there is no evidence that smaller families are any better off.
“Polyamory often isn’t a choice; if people love more than one person, they can’t help it,” the spokesperson said. “Even if they could [choose], why would it matter?”
As far as the law is concerned, the lobby said the government should not have the right to restrict consenting adult relationships based on love and respect.
“The legal, health and financial protections enjoyed by a spouse in a monogamous relationship must be extended to all partners in a family,” the spokesperson said. “A family should be about security, stability and love; not about its structure.”
A spokesperson for the Australian Christian Lobby said it is a legitimate concern legalising same-sex marriage would lead to a claim for polyamorist marriage. They believe this is already happening.
“Although referred to in the Bible and practiced by some people in the ancient world, polygamy is not condoned by God and has never been accepted in Christian orthodoxy,” the spokesperson said.
“The ACL would not support any move to add to the plurality of relationships already in Australia with the nonsense put forward about polyamorous relationships.”