• Laura Boyle

Arlington, MA Recognizes 3+ Person Domestic Partnerships

On April 28, 2021, Arlington, MA joined its neighbors Somerville and Cambridge in allowing legal recognition of domestic partnership relationships involving three or more people. Unlike in Somerville or Cambridge, Arlington's legal changes involved passing an entirely new domestic partnership bylaw. A local resident and member of a polyfamily, Amos Meeks, suggested an amendment to the proposed domestic partnership provision to include "two or more" people in relevant portions of the law, and the amendment passed 192-37. The amended provision passed 221-11 in the Town Meeting.


You can find the text of the bylaw as debated here. The amendment as considered and passed is linked at the bottom of it, and can be found here. New town bylaws in Massachusetts don't immediately come into effect; the town submits them to the state Attorney General, Maura Healy, who then has 90 days to confirm that the law doesn't interfere with any state laws. Given that the two adjoining towns already have laws that are virtually identical, there is no problem with this law anticipated, and it should come into effect shortly.


That's 3 municipalities in Massachusetts down - do we think we'll get the rest of the state first, or towns in several other states? Anyone feel like taking bets?


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