Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

April 21, 2024

Another city! Oakland CA passes nondiscrimination law for poly/ ENM/ family & relationship structure

Oakland City Hall

From Brett Chamberlin, director of OPEN, the Organization for Polyamory and Ethical Non-monogamy:

Oakland, California just became the third US city to pass nondiscrimination protections for non-monogamy and diverse family structures! It's the first city on the US West Coast and the largest city yet to do so. This is yet another exciting milestone for the accelerating movement to normalize non-monogamy!

Help spread the good news by sharing this story on Instagram, Threads, Facebook, and Twitter.

Our gratitude to Oakland Councilmember Janani Ramachandran, who sponsored the bill, and to our friends at the Polyamory Legal Advocacy Coalition, which drafted the ordinance. Coalition partners also included The Modern Family Institute, Chosen Family Law Center, Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Legal Advocacy Clinic, PolyActive, and Asexuality Visibility and Education Network. Visit their sites to learn more and support their work!

Our thanks also to the many community members who made this victory possible! Whether you went door-to-door to canvas for Janani last fall or spoke at Oakland City Council to share your story, this win shows what we can accomplish when we build people power and organize together.

This victory is yet another step forward towards a world where non-monogamous families and relationships are accepted, respected, and protected. But we have more work to do to bring these protections to even more cities and begin taking this fight to the US state and federal levels. Can you chip in to make that work possible? We're grateful for your support!

Wherever you are, I hope you'll take a moment to pause and celebrate yet another victory for this growing movement. Then, let's roll up our sleeves and continue the work!

🥳 Yours in celebration,
Brett Chamberlin, Executive Director

The measure passed the Oakland City Council on April 16. Surprisingly, I find no coverage in news media yet.

From the Chosen Family Law Center in New York:

...The [Oakland] law prohibits discrimination in areas such as housing, business establishments and public services on the basis of family or relationship structure. The protections cover individuals with diverse family and intimate relationship structures, including multi-partner/multi-parent families and relationships, step-families, multi-generational households, non-nuclear family structures, consensually nonmonogamous relationships, and platonic partnerships, including asexual and aromantic relationships.
We’re celebrating the way that these ordinances reflect growing understanding and recognition of the diverse forms that families and relationships take, and we are grateful to the coalition movement that did this work.

The previous two cities to enact such laws were Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Earlier, both of those and neighboring Arlington, MA, passed measures to officially recognize domestic partnerships of three or more adults.

Oakland is a big place, population 430,000. Writes Lily Lamboy of the Modern Family Institute,

[this law] will triple the number of people protected on the basis of family and relationship structure. This event is a testament to the coalition’s care, collective effort, and decades of advocacy leading up to this moment. 

Next up: Berkeley.


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