(CNN) — The city of Somerville, Massachusetts, in U.S, will acknowledge polyamorous relationships after the city council voted in favor of a new domestic partnership ordinance at a meeting last Thursday.
Councilman Lance Davis, who supported the ordinance, told CNN that he believes this is the first such ordinance in the country.
The domestic partnership ordinance was recently introduced to the city council as a means of helping unmarried residents visit their sick partners with coronavirus in the hospital, according to Davis. Just before Thursday’s meeting where the ordinance was to be voted on, Councilman JT Scott suggested to Davis that it should include partnerships of more than two people.
The domestic partnership ordinance was presented to the council by Davis to cover this change in a virtual meeting on Thursday night. Davis recommended adjusting the ordinance so that partners do not have to live together or inform the city about the change of address.
Mayor Joseph Curtatone signed the ordinance on Monday, according to Davis.
The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This is Somerville’s first domestic partnership ordinance, according to Davis, which means the city now joins nearby Boston and Cambridge, which also have such ordinances. Massachusetts became the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.
Davis says all the comments he received on this ordinance have been positive. He says he hopes other states will follow suit.
“People live in polyamorous relationships and they probably always have. Right now, our laws deny its existence, and that doesn’t seem like the right way to write laws on any level, ”Davis said. Hopefully this gives people a legal basis to debate. Perhaps others will follow our example. ”
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