(LifeSiteNews) In the latest vindication of conservative concerns about the legal precedent set by forced recognition of same-sex “marriage,” a New York judge ruled that polyamorous relationships are entitled to the same legal protections as two-person unions.
As highlighted by Reason, on September 23 New York Civil Court Judge Karen May Bacdayan handed down her decision in West 49th St., LLC v. O’Neill, which concerned roommates Markyus O’Neill, Scott Anderson, and Anderson’s “husband” Robert Romano. When Anderson died, the apartment company forbade O’Neill from renewing his lease because his name was not on it, and they did not recognize the two as any more than roommates.
The court determined that deciding the case would require determining whether or not they were truly in a polyamorous relationship. In Bacdayan’s opinion, she questioned at length the basis for limiting such recognized relationships to two people, citing support for her position in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that forced all 50 states to recognize same-sex “marriage.”
“Why then, except for the very real possibility of implicit majoritarian animus, is the limitation of two persons inserted into the definition of a family-like relationship for the purposes of receiving the same protections from eviction accorded to legally formalized or blood relationships?” the judge asked. “Is ‘two’ a ‘code word’ for monogamy? Why does a person have to be committed to one other person in only certain prescribed ways in order to enjoy stability in housing after the departure of a loved one? Why does the relationship have to be characterized by ‘exclusivity?’ Why is holding each other out to the community as a family a factor?”
“Perhaps, as in the instant case, the triad has chosen to closet their relationship from others?” she continued. “Perhaps the would-be successor is not ‘out.’ Maybe they do not believe their ‘real’ family is open to alternative kinds of relationships. ‘Holding out’ discounts the existence of prejudice and misunderstanding about communities and people that are not ‘normie.’ Do all nontraditional relationships have to comprise or include only two primary persons?”
Bacdayan lamented that Obergefell “still adhered to the majoritarian, societal view that only two people can have a family-like relationship,” but noted that it still “open[ed] the door for consideration of other relational constructs; and, perhaps, the time has arrived.” For support, she cited Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissenting opinion, which noted that the Obergefell majority “offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not.
”While UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh stresses that Bacdayan is “just one judge at a relatively low-level court,” the decision highlights the expansionist tendencies of LGBT activists.