For release: 5 May 2015

The UK Greens’ openness to marriage equality for groups of three or more people should cause Australia to press pause on redefining marriage.

Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the fact that poly marriage is seen as the next step after redefining marriage for same-sex couples exposed problems with the same-sex political agenda.

“It is clear that groups of people who also love each other and wish to share a life together are watching the gay marriage debate seeking to be included in ‘marriage equality’” Mr Shelton said.

The UK Greens Party leader is Australian-born Natalie Bennett.

Last Friday, Polyamorous advocates asked her: “Is there room for Green support on group civil partnerships or marriages?” Ms Bennett responded: “We are open to further conversation and consultation”.[1]

Welcoming her comments, UK advocate Jon Barrett writes, “at present those in a trio are denied marriage equality, and as a result face a considerable amount of legal discrimination.”[2]

In Massachusetts, the first place in the world to legislate same-sex marriage, a lesbian “throuple” claim to be married.[3]

“If marriage is redefined to drop the gender requirement, there is no logical reason to keep the numeric requirement,” Mr Shelton said.

Australian polyamorous groups agree.

“If there is ever a popular movement to legalise poly marriage in the future, the Greens will be the first to lend their support, I guarantee it,” Polyamorous Community Leader James Dominguez told The Australian in 2012.[4]

Asked about whether or not same-sex marriage would lead to calls for group marriage, former High Court Justice Michael Kirby told a parliamentary inquiry in 2012:

“I have known homosexual people in a relationship of three… Human relationships are complicated, but these, I would respectfully suggest, are issues for the future.”[5]

This led Rachelle White, a Brisbane-based polyamorist, to tell Perth’s radio 6PR on May 24 2012: “I think what Michael Kirby said was very important. I do think we need to address same-sex marriage. We need to get some closure on that before we do move forward and look at polyamorous marriage and marriage for those in other relationship configurations.”

Mr Shelton said there was no discrimination against same-sex couples under Australian law and polling showed changing the definition of marriage in law was a low order issue with voters.

“It is time to move on from this debate which is taking up way too much time in our national discourse.”