Polygamy is both fascination and taboo, dream and nightmare, which is in the eye of the beholder. Quite often positive and negative qualifications of polygamy overlap in one person, sometimes consciouly and probably more often unconsciously.
Above all, polygamy is a human right, and its prohibition in many states is illegal, because it is an unnecessary government intervention in the inalienable human rights. These rights are embodied in the United Nations: Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in many countries are protected by their constitutions. In my native germany they are guaranteed by the so called Basic Law, which has it´s foundation in the concept of the inviolability of human dignity.
I am not the first who came up with the idea that polygamy is a human right, or to say it more widely, that free choice of the form of heterosexual, homosexual or sexually mixed family living is a human right, and that a prohibition of polygamy in countries which guarantee the human rights to their citizens, therefore, is a violation of these rights.
I have come to think about the topic from my own experience of living in a polyamorous relationship with a married woman since december 2003 and came to this conclusion quite uninfluenced by public discussion. This may seem surprising since the issue shows up in the media from time to time, especially in the United States of America, and I actually read a lot of news every day. Nevertheless – without wanting to boast about my intellectual achievement or speculate about the strange ways live works – this topic which played such a role in my life escaped my attention when reading the news. After long hesitation – had i anything new or important to say? – beginning in november / december 2010 i have started publishing my ideas and thoughts on the subject on my website www.viktor-leberecht.com, which is the international version of http://www.viktor-leberecht.de.
I think the subject is so important that our society – in my native germany, but also in other countries – needs to address it if we are serious about human rights. The concept of human or individual rights in my opinion ultimately means the claim and the confidence that adult, mentally sane and free people need no god, absolute ruler or other authority to tell them as to how they have to arrange their private affairs. As long as a human being does not cause harm to other people, he / she is free to shape his / her life as he / she wants to.
If two (monogamy) or more (polygamy) people want to live a family-life together, and all of the stakeholders enter into the relationship(s) voluntarily and knowingly and based on equal rights, then the state does not have a right to prohibit that, but should support it. For love, sexuality and family, in addition to birth and death, are the most private sphere of human existence, in which the state is allowed to intervene only to prevent harm to individuals or take action against damage incurred.
A polygamous relationship based on equal rights for all partners, however, entered into by all parties voluntarily and with knowledge of all parties involved does no harm to anybody, neither to the parties involved nor to society. To prohibit such a relation is a violation of human rights. It is also utterly superfluous, because even apart from the question of human rights, bans should only exist where damage needs to be prevented or to make it possible to penalize incurred damage afterwards.
As of 21/04/2011 (First published on: 22/12/2010)
Notice: This article is translated from an original article.