While the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing are expected to put a temporary damper on polyamory, those numbers could rise if the social disincentives were removed – in part because some adulterers and cheaters could become consensual non-monogamists.

Activists are moving to dismantle the legal and social barriers, and say their goals are beginning to take shape.

They are laying the groundwork to have their cause become the next domino to fall in a long line of civil rights victories secured by trans people, gays, lesbians, women and blacks. Not too long ago, those marginalized groups were also viewed as unnatural, depraved or inferior, until negative judgments became socially unacceptable and often illegal.

The aspirations of non-monogamists don’t sound like such a moonshot in an increasingly tolerant society where a transgender man can menstruate and experience childbirth, and Pete Buttigieg, a gay man married to another man, can make a serious run for U.S. president.