Massachusetts Decision On Same-Sex Marriage Announced

The much-awaited Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision regarding the opportunity for same-sex couples from out-of-state to marry in Massachusetts was handed down yesterday and the news for many GLBT couples was not good.
The Court upheld a 1913 law that denies couples the ability to marry in the commonwealth if the marriage is not valid in their home states. The NY Times clarifies this loophole which potentially still exists: that couples who live in states like Rhode Island or New York, which don’t explicity ban same-sex unions, may be able to seek a marriage license in Massachusetts. The only other states to which this might apply are New Jersey, New Mexico and the District of Columbia (which, let’s remember, has not yet been granted statehood).
I’m wondering if, perhaps, I began referring to my home state as “New Virigina,” we might have a chance to shift the tide of close-mindedness?!? Hmmm. Just a thought.
According to most Justices on the Court, there was a feeling that Massachusetts shouldn’t be a place where a gay couple can triangulate state law to get closer to achieving what they want. You know what I mean right? A gay couple asks Dad (Texas) if it can marry and gets a ‘no’ so goes to Mom (Massachusetts) and asks and she says ‘yes.” The Commonwealth wants to stay out of it unless the couple is moving to Massachusetts and will become a resident.
Justice Spina makes the prevailing Court opinion clear in this statement. According to the Boston Globe, he says:
‘The laws of this Commonwealth have not endowed nonresidents with an unfettered right to marry. Only nonresident couples who come to Massachusetts to marry and intend to reside in this Commonwealth thereafter can be issued a marriage license without consideration of any impediments to marriage that existed in their former home states.”
The ruling, while a set back for GLBT couples who have wanted to go to Massachusetts to marry, will certainly not stem the tide of those couples who are interested in having a wedding and celebrating and affirming their life-long commitments to one another.
We will carry on until the laws catch up with us.

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