A Massachusetts city will become the first in the country to recognize polyamorous relationships, as part of a larger domestic partnership ordinance.
According to CNN, the city council of Somerville, Massachusetts, voted last week on an ordinance as a means of helping unmarried residents visit their partners in the hospital if they’re sick with coronavirus. Ahead of the meeting, it was suggested that the ordinance should also include partnerships of more than two people. Partners would not be required to live together or inform the city of a change of address.
The news has predictably inflamed conservative media, who are blaming the ordinance on the evils of gay marriage. Because once you’ve allowed loved ones not bound under the wrathful eye of god to visit you in the hospital, it’s only a matter of time before we’re in relationships with our phone chargers, or whatever. From the Christian site LifeSite News, via Towleroad:
“Of course it was never going to stop with same-sex couples. Once you redefine marriage to eliminate the male-female component, what principle requires monogamy? … Once the law and culture says the male-female aspect of marriage violates justice and equality, we haven’t ‘expanded’ marriage, we’ve fundamentally redefined what it is. And those redefinitions have no principled stopping point.”
Somerville Mayor Mayor Joseph Curtatone said that he has only received positive feedback thus far.
“Folks live in polyamorous relationships and have for probably forever. Right now, our laws deny their existence and that doesn’t strike me as the right way to write laws at any level,” he said.
“Hopefully this gives folks a legal foundation from which to have discussion. Maybe others will follow our lead.”