Given the lack of understanding of polyamory in the mainstream public and media, as demonstrated recently by the Newt Gingrich incident, there is clearly a great need for more activism around open relationships. Groups like the Polyamory Leadership Network, which will be much better known now thanks to upcoming coverage in the New York Times, are at the forefront of efforts to increase awareness of ethical non-monogamy.
Being an activist for polyamory is not quite like being a political or human rights activist. The difference is that to be a public advocate for open relationships, you yourself must first be “out” about your non-monogamous status, and be comfortable with drawing attention to that aspect of your life. Many people are not at all ready for that, especially because such a decision impacts the partners and families of anyone who steps into the spotlight.
That is, of course, unless you happen to be a monogamous person who believes so strongly that others should be able to choose to be ethically non-monogamous without discrimination, that you take up the cause. I have yet to come across such a person, although perhaps, like gay-straight alliances, the non-monogamous community should be trying to work more close with open-minded monogamous groups. Just as very conservative parents dealing with a gay child are more likely to listen to a fellow conservative than to another gay person, the mainstream public may overcome their typical skepticism about non-monogamy if the message came from a more traditional source.