The Disturbing Rise Of Polyamorous Relationships

A recent scandal regarding a first-term member of Congress has drawn new attention to the issue of polyamory. (The term “polyamory” refers to sexual relationships with multiple partners that are consented to by all participants.)

On October 27, 2019, Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA), pictured, announced that she would resign from the U.S. House of Representatives. Media reports indicated that Rep. Hill—who is in the midst of divorce proceedings with her estranged husband—had engaged in inappropriate relationships with a male member of her congressional staff and with a female member of her campaign staff. (Intimate relationships with congressional staffers are a violation of House Rules.) Rep. Hill denied the allegation with regard to the congressional staffer, but admitted to the relationship with the campaign staffer. There is some question about whether Rep. Hill’s relationship with her campaign staffer was a polyamorous relationship that also involved Rep. Hill’s husband.

According to John Hirschauer of National Review, media attention to issues of polyamory has spiked in recent days. Not surprisingly, the mainstream media paints a favorable picture of polyamory; Hirschauer indicates that “CBS News has run two pieces [lamenting] the ‘stigma’ faced by those engaged in ‘ethical non-monogamy’ and the attendant lack of ‘legal protections’ for those in such relationships.” Does this language sound familiar to anyone? It should. It’s the same type of language that was used to promote same-sex “marriage.”

John Hirschauer’s recent National Review op-ed points out that the rhetoric being used to normalize plural relationships has much in common with the rhetoric used by same-sex “marriage” advocates.

In his dissenting opinion in the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, Chief Justice John Roberts argued that the so-called logic behind arguments for a constitutional right to same-sex “marriage” could easily be used in support of an asserted constitutional right to plural “marriages” involving three or more persons. As Hirschauer puts it, “If sexual difference is not a meaningful feature of marriage, why should the union be restricted to two — and only two — people?” He adds:

One can imagine a possible path forward. Polygamy will become polyamory, “consensual nonmonogamy,” or whatever premise-smuggling euphemism its practitioners prefer. Serial philanderers with bizarre unions will become “polyamorous Americans” whose “rights are under assault.” They might get their own letter in the LGBTQ alphabet soup. Opponents will be called prudes, scolds, and deplorables. Beto O’Rourke will seek to strip tax-exempt status from every church that so much as hesitates to affirm the moral rectitude of 14-person marital unions. Every polygamous union in Colorado will insist that Jack Phillips bake their “wedding” cake and drag him before the state’s Civil Rights Commission when he refuses.

At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we are not surprised by efforts to normalize polyamory. We stand opposed to any attempt to grant legal status to polygamous marriages (in which one person may be married to multiple partners) or plural “marriages” (in which more than two people are “married” to each other). We continue to believe that the institution of marriage was ordained by an authority much higher than the Supreme Court, and that God’s perfect design for marriage involves one man and one woman.