The idea of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is a cherished American ideal.
In my life, I have the liberty to go about the pursuit of happiness in any way I see fit that does not infringe upon the rights of others. As a libertine, it makes me quite happy to pursue non monogamous relationships of various durations and intensity. Not everyone's cup to tea, to be sure, but strict, lifelong monogamy is not my cup of tea and I don't want anyone trying to cram it down my throat, least of all the government.
So what's up with the government trying to dictate what form people's private intimate relationships take, as in the "Defense of Marriage Act" ? Granted, this was a unsubtle way of expressing official disapproval of same sex marriage, but there is plenty of intolerance left over for those of us in non traditional heterosexual relationships as well, particularly the non monogamous.
The third section of this so called DoMA reads: "In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.". This makes it abundantly clear that while same sex relationships were the main purpose of this pathetic piece of legislation, a second, less publicly acknowledged purpose was to also slam the door on polyamorous relationships of all types.
As far as I'm concerned, the government needs to stay out of the personal relationship business and should not be promoting any particular form of relationship above all others. The intimate, private relationships of consenting adults are exactly that, private, and the government would do well to respect that. The only business the government, in whatever form, has in interfering in the domestic affairs of citizens is to ensure the safety of all involved, particularly those dependent: children, the disabled and/or the elderly. Beyond that, how any assortment of consenting adults chooses to relate to one another is their own concern and their liberty to pursue happiness in whatever manner they see fit should not be infringed upon.
Why should I care about any of this? As a heterosexual libertine, I am always free to carry on my private affairs, business as usual, regardless of any sort of partisan legislation. However, both state and federal government shows its partiality to legal monogamous marriage by conferring a host of rights and benefits to only legally married people. (To see a partial list, go to: http://www.buddybuddy.com/mar-list.html ) Not only does this discriminate against people in committed same sex or polyamorous relationships, it discriminates against the legally "single", a category into which many libertines legally fall.
Perhaps the government ought to deal with all adults as individuals and leave us to define our personal relationships as best suits our individual situations and let us decide who is eligible to share in some of the applicable benefits on this list, instead of the government defining for us what is an "approved relationship".
Some food for thought.