The council also removed a requirement that those in a domestic partnership must live together, as well as a provision that those in a domestic partnership must submit evidence to the city of their relationship as a family.
Somerville, which borders Cambridge, broadened its definition of domestic partnership to include polyamorous relationships during July 2020, the first in the nation to do so. Both cities are close to Boston.
Catholic scholars, including Professor Robert George of Princeton University, have said in recent years that redefining marriage could lead to a collapse of the term altogether, with people questioning why marriage requires exclusivity, permanence, and sexual fidelity. George has also noted that in a society that has rejected the idea of sexual complementarity, there is no rational basis for rejecting polyamory.
Ryan Anderson, currently president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, told CNA last year that he was not surprised by the latest efforts to redefine marriage to include multiple people.
"Of course it was never going to stop with same-sex couples," Anderson told CNA. "Once you redefine marriage to eliminate the male-female component, what principle requires monogamy?"
The former cultural norm of marriage between one man and one woman, Anderson said, "was that only one man and one woman could unite as one flesh as husband and wife in the very same act that could produce new life, and then connect that new life with his or her own mother and father."