Public perceptions

Social views regarding unconventional relationships are evolving.  The legalisation of same sex marriages in countries such as Ireland and Australia has been a great win.  Those of us who reside in such relatively open-minded places live in an exciting time.  Reputedly the French and Italians have accepted for years that having lovers can be a part of a happy marriage.

However, discrimination against people known to be living ethically non-monogamously does happen.  One leader of an Australian polyamory discussion group suggested that polyamory does not have protected status under anti-discrimination laws.  He counselled that a decision to come out be taken carefully.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with keeping our private lives private, the more people willing to be unashamedly open about their ethical non-monogamy, the faster will be the normalisation process.  Internet, YouTube, discussion forums and podcast searches on various related terms reveal a surprisingly large range of material that is also helping with normalising non-monogamy – including lists of allegedly non-monogamous celebrities.

Why is ethical non-monogamy such a sensitive topic then in some places?  It puts into question some of the assumed conservative foundation stones of society as we know it – morality and the structure of the family.  It also can be threatening to people in conventional relationships and/or with low self esteems (that take comfort in the idea that marriage locks a partner in to being with them).