Somerville, Massachusetts, became the first city in the U.S. to recognize polyamorous relationships this week.
CNN reports: The domestic partnership ordinance was brought to the city council recently as a means to help residents who are not married to visit their partners who are sick with coronavirus at the hospital, according to [Councilor Lance] Davis. Right before the meeting last Thursday where the ordinance was going to be voted on, Councilor JT Scott suggested to Davis it should include partnerships of more than two people. The domestic partnership ordinance was brought to the council by Davis to encompass this change in a virtual meeting Thursday evening. Davis recommended tweaking the ordinance so that partners weren’t required to live together or inform the city of change of address. Mayor Joseph Curtatone signed the ordinance into law Monday, according to Davis.
Not surprisingly, right-wing commentators are resurrecting their “slippery slope” arguments — blaming the Somerville ordinance on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision in favor of nationwide marriage equality.
At the Christian site LifeSite News, Jonathan Van Maren compared Somerville’s ordinance to Utah’s recent decision to decriminalize polygamy, which he also blamed on Obergefell. Van Maren’s article is titled, “Massachusetts city approves polyamory, the inevitable consequence of gay ‘marriage.’”
“Once marriage was redefined and placed in a panoply of morally acceptable romantic arrangements, it was only a matter of time before the number of partners would mean as much as the sex of the partners. Which is to say, nothing. Even promiscuous multi-taskers can demand that the government endorse and financially support their sexual arrangements,” Van Maren wrote. “The word ‘family’ now has no readily available meaning, and as such, the goalposts are shifting accordingly. … Once again, a government body is throwing its weight behind a new definition of family—and making a moral statement in the process. By claiming that we do not know what a ‘family’ is, they are claiming we cannot know what a family is—and that, by definition, means it is whatever you want it to be. After all, if gender is fluid, why not marriage?
Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Institute, told the Catholic News Agency: “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.”
On Twitter, Anderson claimed that he predicted the recognition of polyamory in 2013. Texas Republican Congressman Chip Roy retweeted Anderson, adding: “Really not gratifying being correct, is it?”
A few more examples from Twitter below.