Somerville in Massachusetts became the first US city to recognise polyamorous relationships after the city council approved a new domestic partnership ordinance last week, The New York Times reported. Initially, officials planned to vote only on a domestic partnership ordinance, as residents of Somerville recently said that they were finding it difficult to visit their loved ones in hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Before the vote, Councillor J.T. Scott proposed changing the definition of domestic partnership so that more than two people can be recognised in one.
"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. Hopefully this gives folks a legal foundation from which to have discussion", said Councillor Lance Davis, who supported the ordinance. Davis believes the ordinance is the first of its kind in the United States.
The officials who approved the ordinance noted that they received very positive feedback from local residents and said that they hoped other cities and states would follow their suit. "When the government has tried to define a family in the past that hasn’t always gone very well. That’s not a business we should be in", said Councillor Lance Davis.