Monday, March 28, 2005

Polyamory at the U of Chicago Law School

When we wrote about polyamorists, queer activists, and slimy hotels a few days ago, we hadn't yet seen Stanley Kurtz's piece in National Review Online, "Rick Santorum Was Right" (3/23/05). Well, things are even worse than we thought. It seems that prestigious law schools are now treating group marriage as "the next big cause in family law." Elizabeth Emens, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, "taking her cue from the movement for gay marriage", argues that polyamory is "not just ... a practice, but ... a disposition."

Kurtz explains that according to this highly credentialed legal scholar, "whether for biological or cultural reasons, some folks simply canot live happily unless they are allowed multiple, simultaneous sexual partners." (Didn't this used to be called adultery?) "And for these people, our current system of marriage and family laws is every bit as unjust as it is for homosexuals."

Kurtz continues:
"Emens tackles a whole series of further objections to polyamory. So, for example, what about the need for cultural consensus in our marriage practices? If people who believe in monogamous marriage can't take it for granted that their potential partners believe in marital monogamy, aren't we setting ourselves up for social chaos? No problem, says Emens. In a polyamory-friendly world, monogamists will be able to form associations, just as polyamorists do now. People can join monogamy or polyamory clubs, just like we now choose churches. That way, we'll be assured of finding companions who share our own rules of marriage."