Threesome marriages - 'polyamory' - makes surprisingly small news splash

by Karen L. Willoughby |

BOSTON (Christian Examiner) – When three women "wed" each other in Massachusetts in 2013 and then three men followed suit in Thailand this year the news barely made a ripple given the impact of what could be a growing trend towards "polyamory."

That apparent apathy on the part of Christian leaders in not addressing the trend is alarming, maybe even more so than the "polyamorous" relationships, according to Bob Stith who once served as a strategist for Southern Baptists on gender issues and as a board member for the now defunct Exodus International, an ex-gay ministry.

Moreover, Stith, president of Family and Gender Issues Ministries in Southlake, Texas, told Christian Examiner the strategy by some to give up the legal battle for marriage but fight to allow people to hold onto their religious values will not work.

LGBT activists, he said, will never be content to let Christians exercise their constitutional rights to hold and practice their beliefs about the sin of homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

"It's not live and let live," Stith said. It's our way or the highway." He added that apathetic Christians are flawed in their thinking that homosexuals will allow Christians to "co-exist" while holding moral and religious views that disapprove of the gay lifestyle.

The marriages of three individuals to each other in that sense are not surprising, he said.

"We are breaking down every one of God's laws and ultimately it will turn on us."
- Bob Stith, Family and Gender Issues Ministries, Texas

And leaders who bought into the idea that granting same-sex marriage would satisfy those seeking to set a new normal have this to deal with now.

"It's one thing to hide behind public opinion, but it's another thing that as a leader you are supposed to lead," Stith said.

Citing the recent shift by Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings to support same sex marriage, Stith said he understands representative government and the will of the majority, but "at some point you have to take a stand."

"It was very disappointing," Stith said. "I thought he was a very moral and solidly kind of guy. You are seeing this more and more. People putting their finger out and checking the wind and thinking this is the way to go."

Stith related a line out of C.S. Lewis' Narnia, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," when the professor lamented, "Why don't they teach logic at these schools?" In the story, a young Lucy encounters a fantastical world and is accused of lying when she shares about her adventure. Her siblings ask an adult to weigh in and he helps them to look logically at whether she has a pattern of lying, is crazy, or could be telling the truth.

"I'm not trying to be a pessimist, but this goes back to logic," Stith said. "If the state cannot regulate [traditional] marriage, it cannot regulate any form of marriage."

Both of these of arrangements of more than two people being "married" to each other at the same time are unique and also not legal.

THREE WOMEN BOND IN MASSACHUSETTS

The three women who call themselves a "throuple" reportedly were expecting their first child in July 2014.

Brynn, a transgender computer programmer who previously as a male was married twice to women, is the main breadwinner. Doll does the cooking. Kitten, who was pregnant at the time, does the cleaning.

"The three of us have always wanted kids and wanted to grow our family," Kitten told The Sun, a British tabloid. "We decided that I'd be the one to carry the babies because I'd like to be a full-time [mother]."

The women sleep together in the same bed, and have sex as a threesome -- as well as in pairs -- according to multiple press reports.

"We all have time together but it's also important for each pair of people to nurture their individual relationships," Doll said.

Kitten said their relationship satisfies her need for a "traditional" marriage.

"I'd always wanted to get married, and Doll and Brynn indulged my wishes," she said. "I had a very traditional upbringing, and marriage had always been an important symbol of commitment for me."

Massachusetts in 2004 became the first state in America to recognize gay marriage. Three-way unions are not an option, however. State law-enforcement sources said they would object if the third "wife" sought some kind of recognized marital benefit, such as filing joint tax returns.

THREE MEN UNITE IN THAILAND

In Thailand, Joke, 29, Bell, 21, and Art, 26, are thought to be the world's first gay threesome to make a ceremonial commitment to each other.

Bell had one traditional stipulation: Art and Joke had to ask his parents for his hand in marriage. "It might seem strange to some, but many people understand our bond and the reasons we got married," Art said.

"Now Thai society has a better understanding of sexual orientation," Joke said in an article. "Many same-sex weddings appear on TV, newspapers and social media, so we feel more accepted."

Thailand is considered to be more tolerant than many nations when it comes to same-sex rights, but Thai law does not recognize same-sex marriages.

Regardless, the Thai group says their union is real to them.

"Some people may not agree and are probably amazed by our decision, but we believe many people do understand and accept our choice," Bell told Caters news agency. "Love is love, after all."

WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE

Stith said the situation will increase as states will be forced to look to know where to "draw the line" over same-sex marriage – something Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia warned of when the Defense of Marriage Act was tossed.

Reflecting back on Narnia, Stith said, "Logic is -- what are you thinking is going to happen?"

[With reporting by Joni B. Hannigan.]