Yet another piece of the political fallout from electing an uber-liberal as governor of Massachusetts is falling into place. Gov. Deval Patrick is reversing ex-Gov. Mitt Romney’s rule that civil “marriages” between out-of-state couples can’t be recorded. Romney had refused to record the unions based on an old law that made it illegal to record a marriage when the marriage would be illegal in the couple’s home state.
Critics had pointed out that the 1913 law was put in place when miscegenation laws (laws against mixed marriages) were commonplace and thus they claimed it was a continuing discrimination. While miscegenation laws were wrong, the legal principle is not. In the end, when the two men or two women return home the “marriage” is still not legal and the state recognition’s only purpose is as legal leverage to demand a change in that state’s laws.
Gay couples from Rhode Island are the only out-of-state gay couples who are currently allowed to wed in Massachusetts; a judge in September 2006 ruled that Rhode Island laws do not explicitly prohibit gay marriages. Two of the 26 couples whose records were not processed by Romney were from Rhode Island, according to the governor’s office.
Part of the larger strategy
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