News

Politics & Policy

Massachusetts City Officially Recognizes Polyamorous Relationships

A goldsmith shows wedding rings in a jeweller’s shop in Vienna, Austria, December 14, 2017. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

A left-leaning Massachusetts city has adopted a domestic partnership ordinance granting polyamorous groups the same rights as married couples.

The Somerville City Council voted unanimously last Thursday to approve the measure, which affords domestic partnerships between two or more people the same rights as spouses, including the ability to confer health insurance benefits and to visit hospitalized partners. 

Councilor Lance Davis wrote the ordinance, telling his fellow council members that “I don’t feel it’s the place of government to define a family,” the Boston Globe reported. Mayor Joseph Curtatone then signed the measure into law on Monday.

Unmarried Somerville residents had expressed concern to the council over their ability to visit sick partners in the hospital and to access partners’ health insurance in light of the coronavirus pandemic. While the ordinance originally defined a domestic partnership as a relationship between two people, Davis altered the measure’s language to include polyamorous relationships just moments before the council meeting at the suggestion of councilor J.T. Scott, he told the Globe. 

“People have been living in families that include more than two adults forever,” Scott told the New York Times. “Here in Somerville, families sometimes look like one man and one woman, but sometimes it looks like two people everyone on the block thinks are sisters because they’ve lived together forever, or sometimes it’s an aunt and an uncle, or an aunt and two uncles, raising two kids.”

Scott told the Times he knew of at least two dozen polyamorous households in the city of 80,000.

Unlike other cities that had introduced domestic partnership ordinances before same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts in 2004, Somerville hadn’t previously had such a policy.

Davis said he had received many calls and messages of support of the ordinance, including from lawyers interested in shaping a similar measure on the state or federal level. The policy could come under judicial scrutiny if health insurance companies deny the city’s new definition of domestic partnership.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

What or Who Decides This Election?

We know where to watch in the next few weeks but have no real idea what we will be watching. Yet pundits, the media, and the Left seem giddy that their polls show a Trump slump, as if they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from 2016. But in truth, the news cycle over the next three months may well favor ... Read More

What or Who Decides This Election?

We know where to watch in the next few weeks but have no real idea what we will be watching. Yet pundits, the media, and the Left seem giddy that their polls show a Trump slump, as if they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from 2016. But in truth, the news cycle over the next three months may well favor ... Read More
Elections

The Burning Times

Welcome to The Tuesday, a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, pedantry, partisan pyromania, and suchlike. The Right loves a factional brawl, and the past week brought a pentagonic crossfire between Peggy Noonan, Mona Charen, Charlie Sykes, Ramesh Ponnuru, and David French, five right-leaning ... Read More
Elections

The Burning Times

Welcome to The Tuesday, a weekly newsletter about politics, language, culture, pedantry, partisan pyromania, and suchlike. The Right loves a factional brawl, and the past week brought a pentagonic crossfire between Peggy Noonan, Mona Charen, Charlie Sykes, Ramesh Ponnuru, and David French, five right-leaning ... Read More
Media

A Brutal Assessment of Cable News

On the menu today: An MSNBC producer resigns, and metaphorically nails 95 theses to the doors of cable news, spotlighting how the industry has failed in its duties to inform the public; the president has another pyrotechnic explosion of a television interview; unnamed White House staffers whisper that the ... Read More
Media

A Brutal Assessment of Cable News

On the menu today: An MSNBC producer resigns, and metaphorically nails 95 theses to the doors of cable news, spotlighting how the industry has failed in its duties to inform the public; the president has another pyrotechnic explosion of a television interview; unnamed White House staffers whisper that the ... Read More
World

Massive Explosions Devastate Beirut

A series of massive explosions detonated in Beirut on Tuesday, with footage showing a mushroom cloud and shockwave emanating from the city port. [embed]https://twitter.com/air_intel/status/1290676373485490177[/embed] It is still unclear what caused the explosions. Lebanese security forces claimed the ... Read More
World

Massive Explosions Devastate Beirut

A series of massive explosions detonated in Beirut on Tuesday, with footage showing a mushroom cloud and shockwave emanating from the city port. [embed]https://twitter.com/air_intel/status/1290676373485490177[/embed] It is still unclear what caused the explosions. Lebanese security forces claimed the ... Read More