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"Monogamous: To Be or Not to Be?"

on Tuesday, 12 November 2013. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Huffington Post

The one thing you don't expect to see in any of the Bible Belt states (most of which have amended their constitutions to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman) is an organization promoting polyamory.

Last month at Atlanta's pride parade, the group Atlanta Polyamory Inc. did just that -- and out in the light of day. The result was the shock, awe, and disgust of a mixed group.

Atlanta Polyamory Inc.'s purple-lettered banner read, "Polyamory: Having simultaneous close emotional relationships with two or more other individuals."

While many religious conservatives might argue that the legalization of same-gender marriage and shows like HBO's Big Love, about a fictional polygamist Mormon family, plant seeds to destroy the conventional family unit, we have to ask ourselves whether monogamy is a natural instinct in us or a social construct devised to protect and regulate the institution of heterosexual marriage.

Being nonmonogamous in this culture carries a stigma for both heterosexuals and LGBTQs. Nonmonogamous people are widely assumed to be sexually promiscuous, sex- and love-addicted and unable to achieve emotional and sexual intimacy. But this assumption ignores the reality that some people really are in polyamorous relationships, and their ability to love more than one person at a time is not about a lust-fest for them.

Deepak Chopra, a renowned spiritual master and director of educational programs at the Chopra Center for Well Being in California, told The Advocate in 1998:

As far as monogamy is concerned, I honestly believe that human beings are not monogamous biologically; they were not created that way. However, it is certainly helpful in society and social structure ... because of the family structure. ... [W]ith gay and lesbian relationships, I think you're going to see families. You're going to see children. ... So in the interest of family structure, we've evolved biologically to the point where we are social creatures.

But the purported evolutionary benefits of monogamy have not panned out as expected. The biggest claim touted in support of monogamy is that it's the best social and psychological arrangement for children. However, if a couples is in a monogamous relationship solely for the kids, the children suffer because they witness no love, compassion or respect between the parents. ...

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