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What's Monogamy Got to Do With Marriage?

Study Notes and Anecdotes From LGBT People in Committed, Non-Monogamous Partnerships

June 25, 2013


Lanz Lowen and Blake Spears

Lanz and Blake

How are gay marriage and non-monogamy operating alongside one another?

A considerable number of our "non-monogamous" couples were either already legally married or were making plans to wed. They saw marriage as a proclamation of their love and the power of their relationship (and secondarily as a political right). Monogamy vs. non-monogamy in terms of marriage didn't seem to enter into their thinking. At least from this side of the fence, it appears that gay marriage doesn't necessarily equate with being monogamous.

Our study was focused on open relationships, but we had great conversations along the way with couples who were in very rewarding long-term monogamous relationships. The espoused myths in our community are clearly erroneous. It's not true that honest, long-term monogamous relationships are non-existent, impossible or unsatisfying. It's also not true that non-monogamy is inevitable or non-enduring. We think it's preferable to support and sanction gay couples and gay marriage within the larger society, but also push for greater openness and communication about our actual relationships and what works for us.

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