NZ Herald 30 May 2012
Marc Glasby and his two partners – wife Belle and identical twin sister Dorothy – last night poured new fuel on the growing debate over sexuality and marriage in 21st century Australia. Their appearance on SBS Television’s Insight programme added polyamory to the already furious debate over same-sex marriage and the associated debates over gay adoption and lesbian access to IVF birth programmes. Advocates of polyamory – intimate relationships involving three or more people – have ruffled feathers in the gay community, caused grief for the Greens, and strengthened religious determination to preserve male-female marriage as the nation’s only legal option. The debate is being hammered out in a parliamentary inquiry into two bills aiming to legalise gay marriage and to recognise those performed abroad. Gay marriage was a fraught issue long before polyamory’s entry. It split the Labor Party and became policy only after Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who opposes the move, struck a deal requiring a conscience vote in Parliament.
…Polyamory Australia, one of a number of advocacy and networking websites, claims its community is diverse and growing, with several hundred attending regular meetings, discussion groups and other events, and using online forums. “We could be rural, inner-city urban or suburban, straight or gay, bi- or asexual … agnostic, atheist, Christian, wiccan, Buddhist, pagan or Mormon … dressed as daggy geeks [or] fetish fashionistas … but our common goal is that of ethical, multiple, intimate relationships and respect for our incredible, wonderful, stimulating diversity,” the site says. Polyamorists and gays have agreed to more open dialogue following a dispute over their “A Brighter Future for All Kinds of Love” float in this year’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, eventually settled amicably. But swinging wider public support their way will be harder. The Greens have been accused of hypocrisy – even by Christian lobbyists opposing gay unions – for supporting same-sex marriage while denying polyamorists the same right.