Savoring/Golf?/African American/Phil/C-PAIRS/Polygamy-5/04

Smart Marriages ® cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Tue May 11 12:04:14 EDT 2004


subject: Savoring/Golf?/African American/Phil/C-PAIRS/Polygamy-5/04

from: Smart Marriages®

- SAVORING THE PROGRESS
- GOLF AND MARRIAGE?
- NEW ORLEANS PUBLIC CONVERSATIONS ON AFRICAN AMERICAN MARRIAGE - MAY 20
- DR PHIL: ANATOMY OF A DIVORCE
- TALLAHASSEE CHRISTIAN PAIRS MARRIAGE WORKSHOP, SAT MAY 15, 9-3
- POLYGAMY - THE NEXT MARRIAGE FRONT?

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- SAVORING THE PROGRESS

> Diane, I continue to read your posts with interest, especially the one today
> about the Senate hearing on the impact of marriage and divorce on children.
> I'm so excited and happy to hear the movers and shakers in Washington are
> discussing this issue!!!  - Don Harting

You know, you're right.  It's easy to forget how far we've come in a few
short years.  We've gone from the "M"-word days when we couldn't even talk
about the benefits of marriage to federal legislation and Senate hearings
about how we can best get marriage-strengthening information to the public.
We should all be standing on our chairs and cheering!! Thanks for the
reminder. (Be sure to hold on when you climb up on those chairs....we still
have lots of work to do.)  - diane
  
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- GOLF AND MARRIAGE?

I lost the email about the golf and marriage book.  Can the author please
resend it. - diane 

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- NEW ORLEANS PUBLIC CONVERSATIONS ON AFRICAN AMERICAN MARRIAGE - MAY 20

The Louisiana Family Council will host legislators, policymakers, community
leaders, lawmakers, educators and citizens who will meet to tackle the tough
issues around rebuilding African American families as part of its 12-city
National "Public Conversation Series" tour. Southern University Brown
Auditorium, 9am-4pm.  For info: 866-556-5565 or LAFamilyCouncil at att.net

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- DR PHIL: ANATOMY OF A DIVORCE

> DR. PHIL Takes Viewers Inside 'The Anatomy of a Divorce'
> PR Newswire (press release) - USA
> PHIL" goes behind the scenes of one of America's greatest domestic problems
> in "The Anatomy of a Divorce." This three-part series will air every
Wednesday.

#############################
- TALLAHASSEE CHRISTIAN PAIRS MARRIAGE WORKSHOP, SAT MAY 15, 9-3
> 
> Your marriage is either growing, or in various stages of decay.
> Learn the skills to sustain what life is all about:  Relationships!
> 
> PAIRS is an acclaimed, research-based, all-inclusive marriage education
> program that focuses on health, not on problems.  PAIRS teaches specific,
> easily learnable skills for successful communication such as confiding,
> complaining, and clarifying and for effective problem solving such as managing
> anger, expressing anger safely, fighting fairly for change, and eliminating
> dirty fighting.  $49 per couple. Fee includes workbook and lunches!
> Scholarships available.  Call 850-668-3700  Tell anyone you know within
> Tallahassee driving distance.
 
 
And, please REALIZE that YOU can take the PAIRS certification training at
the Smart Marriages conference and begin offering courses like this in your
practice, community or congregation as soon as you get home from Dallas!
You'll be all trained, equipped and ready to begin teaching.  - diane

> 102 Three Days - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, July 6, 7, 8
> PAIRS (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills)
> Lori Gordon, PhD, Rita DeMaria, PhD & Don Fernando Azevedo, PhD
> Leave ready to teach PAIRS' brief programs: the One-day  Jumpstart & If You
> Really Loved Me, the Two-day  Passage to Intimacy.  Covers communication,
> emotional literacy, hidden expectations, conflict resolution, and confiding
> exercises. $150 spouse discount.  (Take 102 and 912 to also certify to teach
> Christian PAIRS and Military PAIRS.)  For more information:
http://www.smartmarriages.com/pairs.pre.html
 
> 912 One Day - Monday, July 12
> Christian PAIRS and Military PAIRS
> Richard Marks, PhD, Don Adams, PhD
> Integrates Christian theology & teaching about forgiveness, death, jealous,
> separation & loss with PAIRS core skill-building exercises. Pre-requisite:
> #102 or previous PAIRS training.  $50 spouse discount. For more
> information.  http://www.smartmarriages.com/christian.pairs.html
> 
Register TODAY. http://www.smartmarriages.com/registration.info.html

###########################
- POLYGAMY - THE NEXT MARRIAGE FRONT?
                   
Committed to marriage for the masses Polyamorists say they relate honestly
to multiple partners
Don Lattin
San Francisco Chronicle Religion Writer
April 20, 2004 

> Even though polygamy is practiced by some of the heroes in the Bible -- and
> in many non-Christian cultures around the world today -- it remains a
> Judeo-Christian taboo. . . .

> "Polyamory is not an alternative to monogamy. It's an alternative to
> cheating,'' said Jasmine Walston, who lives in Louisville, Ky., and is
> president of the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness. . . .

> Many of the students and faculty at Starr King see the polyamory movement as
> a threat to gay and lesbian couples.
> 
> "In the Protestant denomination, the movement to accept same-sex couples was
> built on the idea that they, too, can have lifelong monogamous
> relationships,'' Parker said. "Gays and lesbians found safety in saying, 'We
> can have families. We're normal -- just like everyone else.' That became the
> basis for them asking for social acceptance and equal protection under the
> law. ''

Unitarians from Boston to Berkeley have opened another front in the liberal
crusade to expand the definition of marriage and family in America.

It's the new polygamy, and according to the Unitarian Universalists for
Polyamory Awareness, their relationships are at least as ethical as other
marriages -- gay or straight.

"Polyamory is never having to say you've broken up,'' said Sally Amsbury of
Oakland, whose sex and love life openly includes her husband and two "other
significant others," known in polyamory parlance as "OSOs."

Amsbury serves on the national board of directors of the Unitarian
Universalist organization, which defines polyamory as "the philosophy and
practice of loving or relating intimately to more than one other person at a
time with honesty and integrity.''

"Polyamory is not an alternative to monogamy. It's an alternative to
cheating,'' said Jasmine Walston, who lives in Louisville, Ky., and is
president of the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness.

"For some of us, monogamy doesn't work, and cheating was just abhorrent to
me,'' she said.

To some, the polyamory movement is reminiscent of the "free love,'' swinging
and open marriages of the 1960s and 1970s.

AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases dampened that sexual liberation
movement in the 1980s and 1990s.

Today, Walston said, many people mistakenly believe that polyamorists are
careless in their sex lives.

"When everything is out in the open, and your husband knows what is going
on, you're going to be more careful about safe sex,'' she said.

John Hurley, a Boston spokesman for the 183,000-member Association of
Unitarian Universalists, says the views of polyamorists are not necessarily
endorsed by the denomination's board of trustees.

Polyamorists themselves are divided over whether to push for more formal
recognition from the Unitarians, or to begin public lobbying for some of the
same rights granted to heterosexual couples. "We're where the gay rights
movement was 30 years ago,'' Walston said.

Amsbury says she favors expanding the legal definition of marriage to
include three or more people, but she doesn't expect to see it anytime soon.

"We're lovers, not fighters,'' she said. "We don't want to get people's
backs up.''

Other polyamorists are concerned that their cause will be used by opponents
of same-sex marriage.

Just last week, a group of conservative evangelicals asked San Francisco
Mayor Gavin Newsom whether his support of same-sex marriage applied to
multiple-partner marriages.

"What possible reason could you find for discriminating against or denying
equal access to threesomes, foursomes, etc.?'' they asked in a letter to
Newsom.

Rebecca Parker, the president of Starr King School for the Ministry in
Berkeley, says many Christians find polygamy even more sinful than
homosexuality.

Monogamous heterosexual marriage, she says, is ordained by God through the
creation of Adam and Eve.

Even though polygamy is practiced by some of the heroes in the Bible -- and
in many non-Christian cultures around the world today -- it remains a
Judeo-Christian taboo.

Starr King is a seminary of the Association of Unitarian Universalists and
part of the Graduate Theological Union, a consortium of Protestant and
Catholic seminarians in Berkeley and Marin County.

Unitarians -- who encourage their members to seek spiritual truth based on
human experience, not allegiance to creeds and doctrines -- have been around
since 1782. They merged with the Universalists in 1961.

Many of the students and faculty at Starr King see the polyamory movement as
a threat to gay and lesbian couples.

"In the Protestant denomination, the movement to accept same-sex couples was
built on the idea that they, too, can have lifelong monogamous
relationships,'' Parker said. "Gays and lesbians found safety in saying, 'We
can have families. We're normal -- just like everyone else.' That became the
basis for them asking for social acceptance and equal protection under the
law. ''

Very few polyamorous Unitarian Universalist ministers are "out of the
closet." They fear it will wreck their chances of getting or keeping a job
with a congregation.

Jim Zacarias, interim minister at the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque,
recently came out to his congregation as bisexual.

"People who choose a polyamory lifestyle in our denomination are doing it
with an ethic of responsibility in their relationships,'' he said. "People
in polyamory have the same struggles as people in gay and lesbian
relationships.

"Our denomination has been welcoming to gays and lesbians and transgendered
people,'' Zacarias said. "Bisexuals have not received the recognition they
deserve.''

"Some people in polyamory are bi, some are homosexual, some are
heterosexual. We are serving their needs,'' said Barb Greve, a transgender
person who likes to be called "he."

Greve is a program associate with the Association of Unitarian
Universalists' Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Concerns in
Boston

"There are people who want to be in committed relationships -- whether it's
heterosexual marriage, same-sex marriage or polyamory -- and that should be
acknowledged religiously and legally,'' he said.

According to Amsbury and other Unitarian polyamorists, most of the people in
their movement are bisexual or heterosexual.

Amsbury is bisexual, her husband of two years is heterosexual, and her
current "other significant others" are bisexual.

One of them, Peter, lives in West Hollywood with his boyfriend. The other
one, Conly, lives in Santa Rosa and has been her lover for seven years.

"I wear a wedding ring for my husband," she explained, "and a bracelet for
Conly.''

Though Amsbury and her husband, Terrance Roff, did not involve Peter and
Conly in their Alameda marriage ceremony, other polyamorous Unitarians have
proposed church ceremonies to bless threesomes, foursomes or moresomes.

One set of guidelines for church blessings of polyamorous partners suggests
that the officiating minister try to put people at ease by saying, "We are
from many different faith traditions, and we have many different experiences
of love. What made us say 'yes' to being here was the love among these
people.''

©2004 San Francisco Chronicle -

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