Throuples. I’m not buying into it. You can’t have your cake - or cakes - and eat them too.
Not even my hip MacBook Pro dictionary is buying into it. Under the word ‘throuple’ there’s a squiggly red line, which is my computer’s way of saying, ‘huh?’
Why is this an issue? Well, in recent months, we’ve seen several news stories about three men who are celebrating their new lives together as a throuple, instead of a couple. A throuple in Canada consisted of a couple that divorced so they could transform into a throuple. In Thailand, another throuple were able to be married under Buddhist law.
In case you haven’t worked it out yet, a throuple is three people in an interdependent relationship dressed up as love; a polyamorous relationship.
Throuples are the new normal, I’m told by my hairdresser, who recently came across one on gay male dating app, Grindr.
Their bio read: “We’re simply a couple +1! To save you time asking what it’s like.”
So what are they doing on Grindr? In search of a quadrouple? Nope. My dictionary isn’t buying into that either. Where does it end?
Presently, same-sex couples would like to be equally and legally recognised under the federal Marriage Act. Same-sex couples in Australia want same-sex marriage in the name of love and fairness, and 72 per cent of Australians support the legalisation that would make this happen. I am a strong supporter of same-sex marriage.
Couples want the right to say to the nation, ‘I am just like you, I am no different to my work colleagues, I am no different to my heteronormative counterparts. I love my partner and I want to be married and reap the benefits of our union’.
More importantly, same-sex couples want the world to know that they choose the perfect other half in a loving and monogamous relationship for life.
Most same-sex couples don’t want their fellow gay or straight peers coming forward to ask that their polygamous relationships be lawfully recognised. If you’re seeking to have a third party enter into your relationship, then you face an uphill battle convincing society that your relationship is about love, when it looks like it’s simply about sex.
Choosing to enter into a throuple is not my business, and I wish anyone who wants this experience the very best. However, it is every Australian’s business if, and when, throuples ask same-sex couples and heterosexual couples to accept legal recognition of their relationship.
Most Australians view throuples as an experiment unlikely to pass the tests of time.
Asking for legal recognition of polygamous relationships would break the foundation of our society. It would create a mess of our legal relationship system. It would redefine the make up of families, relationships, the tax and welfare systems.
We would be proving conservatives were right all along to be fearful of same-sex marriage. The Libertarian movement would say, 'Privatise marriage and get the government out of our relationships'. No problem. But an underlying push to recognise polygamous relationships would see new forms of commitment ceremonies, and court challenges galore.
Most Australians view throuples as an experiment unlikely to pass the tests of time. They see it for what it is: sexual gratification and hedonism. It’s not their piece of cake.
Carrington Brigham is a digital strategist and national convenor of LNProud, an informal LGBTI networking group of the Liberal and Nationals parties of Australia. At Crosby|Textor he initiated the polling that saw 72 per cent of Australians indicate they wanted same-sex marriage legalised.