Massachusetts Senate Votes to Open Marriage to Out-of-Staters

Timothy Kincaid

July 15th, 2008

The AP is reporting

The Massachusetts Senate has voted to repeal a 1913 law used to bar out-of-state gay couples from marrying in the state.

The law prohibits couples from obtaining marriage licenses if they couldn’t legally wed in their home states.

The House is expected to vote this week.

I find that unfortunate. Truly. As a Californian, I wanted us to have the advantage – at least for a while – of wedding tourism.

But I guess I have to be unselfish and offer my best wishes for passage in the House. Then those same-sex couples that are residents of Rhode Island and New York and who wish their state to honor their marriage won’t have to fly to California or leave the country in order to legally marry.


July 15th, 2008

Surely you jest. . .
What was the vote?

Timothy Kincaid

July 15th, 2008

It was a voice vote and, thus, must not have been close. Earlier, anti-gay activists were unwilling to name a single senator opposed to lifting the ban on out-of-state residents.


July 15th, 2008

MA state Senator votes on gay marriage legalization were in favor on the level of 35-5. And the 5 or so pretty much only on partisan opposition grounds. (This issue is old hat in the chamber- they had to deal with a DOMA initiative back in 2001.) Then again, there might be 2 competitive state Senate elections this cycle, but likely only one. State Senates reflect and set the cultural tone of their state; liberal Democrats have a complete lock here.

The state House is a tougher, more conservative chamber. I could see them playing a game of letting every state Rep from the more conservative districts vote against and letting the repeal slip by on a bare 82-75 or the like. They’ll find some way of muddying up who voted how and why- but who cares, the result is all that matters, let them cover political backside any way they like.

As a Mass. resident, the ‘1913 law’ is an embarrassment and repealing it was pretty much a given at some point. ‘Some point’ was when California gave enough cover.

From here (Boston area) it looks as if our sidekick state, Rhode Island, just might quietly legalize next year or in 2010 if New Jersey and New York and California show the way is open. Vermont is also playing a waiting game.

If Prop 8 fails and a couple of state legislative chambers tip Democratic as expected, 2009 and 2010 could see quite a spread of civil unions and domestic partnership legislation as well.


July 15th, 2008

I was hoping we could coast into this November elections and then use our newly gained power to change antiquated laws. Is there a possibility this clamoring and posturing for gay marriage so close to the election could backfire on us?


July 15th, 2008

yeah, up here in the northwest the news basically said that opposition to the repeal in MA was met with silence.

No worries Timothy. . .there’s plenty of wedding cash to go around.


July 16th, 2008

I guess the recent sound of all those marriage cash registers ringing in California was a greater motivation for doing the right thing AFTER FOUR YEARS OF REFUSING TO DO ANYTHING than was the idea of treating people with fairness, equality and justice under the law.

Their is absolutely NOTHING that the legislators know now that they didn’t know over the last four plus years while they were sitting back allowing this archaic and discriminatory law to be used to deny justice and equality within their state. The ONLY thing that has changed is the sound of all that money and prestige flowing westward to California; especially from states like New York which is in Massachusetts back yard.

I appreciate the advancement but I’m disgusted by what drives politicians to FINALLY stand up and do what’s right.

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