Hey, there! Log in / Register

Polyamory gets official nod in Somerville

Wicked Local Somerville reports Somerville may have just become the first city in the country to formally recognize domestic partnerships of more than two people. It potentially matters for such things as hospital visitation rights, sick leave and health-insurance coverage.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 

Ad:

Do you like how UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

Will Somerville become a haven for renegade Mormons now?

up
Voting closed 22

Just adding that bit.

up
Voting closed 32

different, but one thing in common.

up
Voting closed 14

Could you elucidate the difference? Is polygamy a subset of polyamory?

up
Voting closed 10

Polyamory is a consensual intimate relationship between multiple individuals.

Polygamy is one person being married to multiple other individuals.

That's the really simple definition of each.

up
Voting closed 20

Domestic partnership, in the days prior to universal recognition of same-gender marriage, was sold as being virtually equivalent to marriage. So in essence this would be a municipality recognizing a multi-party relationship as being virtually equivalent to polygamy.

If the Mormons had thought of this in the 1800s they could have just done polyamorous domestic partnerships.

up
Voting closed 13

So then you are agreeing that polygamy is a sub-category of polyamory? Because your definition "a consensual intimate relationship [among] multiple individuals" describes polygamy too.

That would make polygamy the subset of polyamory where:
1. There are multiple women in the relationship;
2. There is only one man in the relationship;
3. The participants consider each other husband and wives;
4. Sexual intimacy is only shared between a husband and a wife.

And maybe, 5. Polyamory is cool, and polygamy isn't.

If you can think of a distinction that makes polygamy not a sub-category of polyamory, I'd be interested to hear it.

up
Voting closed 15

but what is your point? Sure, one is a certain form of the other.

Is there something else, or are you genuinely concerned about the definition? In which case, you seem spot on.

up
Voting closed 8

Partly it's about everyone involved consenting to that shape of relationship--not a man telling his wife "I'm taking another wife" whether she likes it or not. And it isn't "I get to have three girlfriends, and none of them better look at another man."

A woman might have a husband and a girlfriend, who aren't family to each other but not romantic or sexual partners. Or three people might each be involved with both of the others.

up
Voting closed 12

It seems like you're saying it's not possible for women to consent to polygamy.

up
Voting closed 15

Since you started with Mormons....

Most of the polygamist Mormons are members of the fundamentalist sect where the standard practice is to take girls as wives before the age of consent so in the case of Mormons*, no, they can't legally consent. This is why people like Warren Jeffs are in prison.

Read this book for more info: Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven

https://www.amazon.com/Under-Banner-Heaven-Story-Violent-ebook/dp/B000FC...

* Mormon leadership strongly denies the sect members are Mormons but these creeps are basically following the playbook of Joe Smith so YMMV.

Women can, of course, consent to polygamy but in most instances over history, it is done within the framework of deeply inequitable societies where women are subservient in all ways to men. So they might consent within that context but only because all their choices are shit.

up
Voting closed 11

Women never consent to polyamory in the context of deeply inequitable societies because all their choices are shit?

I’ve read the book. Good book. It doesn’t make any argument that polygamy is not a subset of polyamory. Somerville is taking steps to legalize the creepiness that disturbed you in that book.

up
Voting closed 12

Basically. In strictly definitional terms, polygamy is a subset of polyamory. One is multi-partner marriages, the other is multi-partner relationships, married or not.

The word polyamory however has a lot of historical and cultural baggage associating it with men who take multiple wives or concubines, and from time periods when society was patriarchal and marriage entirely in the control of the man.

Anthropologists and the like would use the term polygyny (one male, multiple females) to describe most historical examples of polygamy, and the term polyandry (one female, multiple males) exists also.

Polyamory is a relative new word invented by people to describe multi-partner consensual relationships, and the term has come about in a culture much more concerned about consent and equality than what polygamy historically described.

up
Voting closed 7

Soitanly.

up
Voting closed 32

Nyuk Nyuk.

up
Voting closed 12

So good!

up
Voting closed 13

The people's republic has been outflanked on the left. By Somerville.

up
Voting closed 24

It's about one's private life not one's politics. Swingers, for instance, tend to be Republicans.

up
Voting closed 22

we should move to Somerville.

up
Voting closed 11

Your first sentence claims it's nonpartisan. Then your second sentence gives a partisan example.

up
Voting closed 13

The government needs to get out of the business of sanctioning people's romantic relationships without exception. Marriage and civil unions should have no legal meaning.

For hospitals, people already has the ability to declare a health care proxy. (For obvious reasons, this needs to be a single person.) For visitation, they already shouldn't be limiting it to just one person. Why is a family member seen as more deserving than a close friend?

For taxes, the governments need to abolish joint filing. It serves no purpose beyond penalizing people who aren't married.

For inheritance, that's what wills are for. If you don't have a will, let the probate court decide based on factors such as sharing a household and shared ownership/responsibility before the death.

up
Voting closed 17

"If I have to share my toy, then no one can play with it."

up
Voting closed 9

All sorts of insecurities, real and perceived, seem to bubble up.

up
Voting closed 9

Health insurance and hospital visitation should have nothing to do with marriage.

Health insurance should be a universal right.

Hospital visitation should be available to anyone the patient chooses. If someone wants their brother-in-law or a close friend to have these rights, it shouldn't be a problem.

up
Voting closed 18

Health insurance is already a universal right.

The government can't prevent you from having health insurance.

up
Voting closed 11