In my last poll on morality, there was a question trying to gauge the acceptability of married people having affairs. There seemed to be some disagreement among respondents as to the particulars of what this meant. Is it any form of cheating? Is it an ongoing extramarital relationship? Is it merely an open relationship? Is it anything non-monogamous whatsoever?
I interpreted it to mean the first of these, but I can see how confusion may have arisen. I also didn't want to clarify, because I used the wording that existed in the original Gallup and Abacus polls, and figured that if people here were confused, people in the general population would be as well, so the results should mimic each other in terms of the results obtained.
However, it left me wondering about the specifics of what people found appropriate or inappropriate that led them to vote the way they did, so I decided to make another poll with more specific questions and more granular answers. Votes are still anonymous, lest anyone feel their opinion would reflect poorly on them, but I do encourage those who are open to it to discuss their votes and why they voted the way they did in the comments.
For my part, consent remains the key for me. What goes on in people's bedrooms is their own concern, as long as everyone involved—both directly and indirectly—agrees to the rules of play. If you're cheating on your spouse, whether it's a one-off incident or an ongoing relationship, that's a problem in my eyes. On the other hand, if your spouse agrees you can see other people, then that's your own damned business. The same goes for polygamy. I've been in polyamorous relationships before, and certainly never considered it immoral, nor do I consider that it's the job of the Crown or the State to view it as immoral, either: which is why government regulation of marriage, and defining it strictly in a monogamist mindset, upsets me greatly.
When he reformed the Criminal Code of Canada to loosen restrictions on homosexuality in 1967, then-Justice Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau famously said, 'There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.' It perhaps wasn't feasible at the time to completely adhere to that principle, but in my view, it's about time for it to be invoked again, and properly.