NYC eviction court rules throuples have same legal protections as traditional couples in landmark ruling

NYC eviction court rules throuples have same legal protections as traditional couples in landmark ruling
Scott Anderson (L), Markyus O'Neill (C) and Robert Romano (R) (Scott Anderson/Markyus Andrew O'Neill/Robert Romano/Facebook)

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: New York City's eviction court ruled that throuples have same legal protections as traditional couples. Throuple refers to romantic entanglements between three people. The ruling was triggered by a case involving three people, named Scott Anderson, his boyfriend Markyus O'Neill, and Anderson's husband Robert Romano. 

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Anderson and O'Neill reportedly lived together at a rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. Romano, on the other hand, lived at a different address. When Anderson died in October last year, O'Neill tried to take over the rent-stabilized lease that Anderson had held. Anderson was an interior designer and an award-winning actor. However, since it was in Anderson's name and O'Neill was a "non-traditional family member", he was not allowed to do so. O'Neill then took the landlord, West 49th St LLC, to court, and New York Civil Court Judge Karen May Bacdayan ruled in his favor.

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According to Judge Bacdayan, the definition of the term 'family' has changed in recent years. She explained gay marriages have become legal, and monogamous, two-person relationships were not the only coupling that is entitled to legal protection. "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?" she said, according to the Daily Mail

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Romano and Anderson lived separately but had been together for as long as 25 years. Romano is described in Anderson's obituary as his partner and "the best thing that ever happened to Scott". However, O'Neill is not mentioned in it. Whether Romano was also in a relationship with O'Neill remains unclear. A lawyer for West 49th St, LLC said O'Neill being described as a non-traditional family member in the affidavit was "a fairytale".

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Bacdayan said throuples are entitled to the same kind of legal protections as couples in eviction cases. The existence of the throuple, she claimed, should not prevent O'Neill from renewing the lease immediately. Citing a case from 1989, Bacdayan said how the New York State Court of Appeals was the first in US history to recognize the fact that any kind of ''non-traditional" or same-sex family-like relationship "is entitled to legal recognition". 

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Citing Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Bacdayan said he stated, "If not having the opportunity to marry serves to disrespect and subordinate gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn't the same imposition of this disability . . . serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships?"

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