Polyamory Rights in Washington, DC

Black family hugging each other

Chris Smith and Ben Schenker are working to extend anti-discrimination laws to include non-monogamous relationships. They introduced the Right to Family Amendment Act this month to the Washington, DC city council. This act “ensures people’s rights to maintain relationships as they see fit, prevents discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, educational institutions, and against children based upon their parents’ relationships, and expands access to health coverage.”

Chris Smith will be live with Jewell Elliott, Esquire on Saturday, February 20th in the Black & Poly Facebook Group RSVP here. If you are a B&P Family Member, you’ll get a Zoom link to join and ask questions directly!

A committee will hear testimony on this bill on March 5, 2021. If you live in DC, follow the steps below to make your voice heard! If you live elsewhere, share this information with people you know!

Chris says, “This is a huge opportunity to be heard and make sure the DC council knows that Multi Partnered and Consensually Non-Monogamous people in the District of Columbia are present and ready to claim the rights that they deserve. The future of relationships and law in DC is counting on you. Below is the information on how to submit written testimonials, testify live and view the hearing. If you are a clinician, lawyer, or academic that specializes in relationship structure and/or DC resident please submit a testimony, sign up to testify live and/or post on social media, and encourage others to watch, submit and testify.”

Chris and Ben’s Letter to DC Councilmembers

Sign the petition (DC residents)

How to Testify at the Hearing


Chairperson Robert C. White, Jr.

FRIDAY, MARCH 5, 2021; via Virtual Meeting Platform – Room A

12:00pm – 6:00pm EST

Submitting Testimony:

1.     Written testimony: The Committee encourages the public to submit written testimony to be included for the public record. Copies of written testimony should be submitted by e-mail to facilities@dccouncil.us

2.     All testimony received will be made part of the official record.

3.     Hearing Record: The record for each oversight hearing will close five business days following the conclusion of each respective hearing.

Testifying Live:

1.     Anyone wishing to testify must sign up in advance by contacting the Committee by emailat facilities@dccouncil.us or by phone at (202) 741-8593, and provide their name, phone number or e-mail, organizational affiliation, and title (if any) by the close of business two business days before each respective hearing.

2.     Witnesses are encouraged, but not required, to submit their testimony in writing electronically in advance to facilities@dccouncil.us

3.     The Committee will follow-up with witnesses with additional instructions on how to provide testimony through a web conferencing platform.

4.     All public witnesses will be allowed a maximum of four minutes to testify, while Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners will be permitted five minutes to testify. At the discretion of the Chair, the length of time provided for oral testimony may be reduced due to schedule constraints.

5.     Witnesses who anticipate needing language interpretation, or require sign language interpretation, are requested to inform the Committee on Facilities and Procurement of the need as soon as possible but no later then five (5) business days before the proceeding. We will make every effort to fulfill timely requests, however, requests received in less than five (5) business days may not be fulfilled and alternatives maybe offered.

Viewing Hearings:

1.     Hearings can be viewed live at https://www.facebook.com/RobertWhiteAtLarge/.

2.     The hearing will be broadcast live on Channel 13 and streamed live at www.dccouncil.us and www.entertainment.dc.gov.

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