Why doesn’t Facebook recognize polyamory? -Quartz

People who want to share their relationship status on Facebook have a plethora of options to choose from, from classic (“single”, “couple”, “married”) to more nuanced labels like “it’s complicated” or “in a relationship with”. open relationship.” But if you’re polyamorous, there’s no definite descriptor available, nor is there a way to mark more than one person as your partner.

A new open letter to Meta, hosted by the recently founded nonprofit for Polyamory and Ethical Non-Monogamy (OPEN), says that needs to change. “All users of the Facebook app should have the right to name all of their romantic and intimate partners, without limit,” says the letter, which was signed by 11 leaders advocating for polyamorous rights and positivity and sexual freedom. The letter also says Facebook should allow people to choose more than one relationship status, where applicable.

The issues at stake go far beyond status updates, says Diana Adams, one of the letter’s signatories and executive director of the Chosen Family Law Center, which advocates for LGBTQ and polyamorous families as well as people belonging to other alternative family structures.

“It’s important for Meta to recognize non-monogamous relationships on its platform because being open about relationship structure reduces social stigma,” Adams says. “We know from history that when there are positive portrayals around us and people feel safe to go out, and we realize that the people we know and care about are in marginalized communities, it has ripple effects on civil and legal rights.”

In other words, giving polyamorous people the technical ability to authentically represent their relationships would not only increase their visibility. By helping to dispel all-too-common negative stereotypes about polyamory, such a change in Meta could open the door to greater societal and legal recognition of families outside of the traditional nuclear model.

Meta did not immediately respond to Quartz’s request for comment.

Is polyamory becoming more mainstream?

An estimated 4-5% of adults in the United States are involved in polyamory or some other form of ethical non-monogamy. The big difference between polyamory and open relationships is that the former involves forming intimate romantic relationships with multiple partners, while the latter usually means that a couple has a primary partnership as well as the freedom to date others or to have sex with others.

In many ways, the Internet has proven to be a boon for practitioners of non-monogamy. Dating apps like OkCupid allow people to find other people looking for non-monogamous relationships, as do more specialized dating apps like Feeld. Scheduling apps like Google Calendar are salvation for people who need to coordinate with multiple partners, while platforms like TikTok empower content creators to spread the word about ethical non-monogamy.

As more and more people open up about polyamory, the law is also changing. In 2017, for example, a California judge granted parental rights to three men in a joint partnership; the same year, three men in a polyamorous relationship were legally married in Colombia.

Adams’ Chosen Family Law Center has also been involved in recent efforts to legalize polyamorous domestic partnerships in the United States. In 2020 and 2021, the Massachusetts cities of Cambridge and Somerville became the first in the United States to pass ordinances giving domestic partnership rights to people with multiple partners.

But Adams points out that there is still great discrimination against people who practice non-monogamy, a group that is not a legally protected class in the United States. “You absolutely can be fired from your job or denied an apartment rental or child custody because you are in a non-monogamous consensual relationship,” they explain.

This means that polyamorous dating still carries very real risks. But the more companies like Meta signal their acceptance of alternative family and relationship structures, Adams suggests, the more everyone who breaks out of the narrow mold of heterosexual, monogamous marriage, including singles, people in same-sex relationships and people who put friendship rather than romance at the center of their lives – have everything to gain.

“We all have common interests,” says Adams. “The rights of one are the rights of all of us.”

Comments are closed.