Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Mass. allows gay out-of-state couples to marry
News Update Fri., Aug. 1, 2008
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

This article shared 2406 times since Fri Aug 1, 2008
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

There was a small mystery surrounding the latest big victory in same-sex marriage in Massachusetts during the past week—and there were some big hints that, if proponents of same-sex marriage equality can preserve and defend their state's constitution for four years, the battle may be done, at least in that state.

First, the victories: The Massachusetts House voted 118 to 35 Tuesday, July 29, to join the Senate in repealing a state law that has been used to prevent out-of-state gay couples from coming to Massachusetts to obtain marriage licenses.

Moreover, the Massachusetts legislature then passed an 'emergency preamble' to the legislation repealing a law used to keep out-of-state gay couples from marrying in the state. The law, signed by Gov. Deval Patrick July 31, went into effect immediately.

Massachusetts was the first state to allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses, in May 2004. But California, in June of this year, became the first state to enable gay couples—resident or non-resident—to obtain marriage licenses.

'This is huge,' said Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus and a key lobbyist on gay civil rights matters before the legislature. 'This sends a really loud, strong message that, not only will we not discriminate against people in Massachusetts, but, just as importantly, Massachusetts will not enable other states to discriminate. That's big.'

The state constitution stipulates a bill becomes law 90 days after the governor has signed the legislation. Before the emergency preamble was passed late July 30, that meant out-of-state couples who wanted to marry in Massachusetts would have to wait until Oct. 29.

To be considered an 'emergency law,' a piece of legislation must be passed with an 'emergency preamble' that sets forth 'the facts constituting the emergency' and contains a 'statement that such law is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety or convenience.'

The Senate bill, passed July 15, did not include such a preamble nor did the House bill. And everybody seemed to suggest it wasn't going to happen.

Melissa Threadgill, a spokesperson for MassEquality, a statewide gay organization leading the marriage fight, said she did not know whether the organization has sought such a declaration. Isaacson said there is no strong interest in asking for it.

'It adds another layer on to the process,' said Isaacson. 'And while we'd have loved an emergency preamble, the fact of the matter is that [ the bill will ] go into effect in three months and that gives people time now to plan their weddings.'

The constitution allows for the governor to unilaterally declare the legislation to be treated as emergency legislation, but Becky Deusser, a spokesperson for the governor, said she was not aware of that option and that she never heard of any discussion for Patrick to do so.

Now that the governor has signed the legislation with an emergency preamble, the mystery about when the law goes into effect is solved.

Still, there is a little mystery left: could there be yet another referendum—this time to reinstate the 1913 law.

Gary Buseck, legal director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the gay legal group that led the historic lawsuit that led to equal marriage rights in Massachusetts, said he doesn't think, as a legal matter, a referendum can be held on the 1913 repeal.

Politically, of course, it would be an awkward sell, given that Rep. Byron Rushing, a well-respected African-American civil-rights leader, said the repeal was not only a matter of 'fairness and equality,' but an eradication of a vestige of a discriminatory law originally aimed against Blacks.

The so-called '1913 law' was enacted in 1913 to discourage interracial couples from obtaining marriage licenses in Massachusetts and then returning to their home states where such marriages were prohibited. Rushing noted that the law went virtually unused until May 2004, when then-Republican Gov. Mitt Romney ordered its enforcement as a way to stop gay out-of-state couples from obtaining marriage licenses in Massachusetts.

The state supreme court upheld Romney's use of the law, but his successor, Patrick, put it on his hit list.

And there is at least some evidence to suggest that, after four years of losing battles, opponents of equal marriage in Massachusetts have run out of steam and ideas. They were much more low-key this time around—especially compared to the knock-down, drag-out fights that have characterized the gay marriage battle in Massachusetts during the past four years. They did stage a modest effort to defeat the bill in the House this past week, with several speakers warning of the 'nightmare' consequences of allowing gay couples from other states to obtain marriage licenses in Massachusetts. But, surprisingly, their 'nightmares' were not of the Sodom-and-Gomorrah variety. Instead, they fretted about 'legal limbo,' should those out-of-state couples decide to divorce back in their home states. One opponent, Rep. John Lepper, suggested that allowing out-of-state couples to marry in Massachusetts might be 'detrimental to same-sex marriage' by provoking legislators in other states to 'increase barriers' to same-sex unions. He said this while also pointing out that most states already have a statutory barrier, and many have constitutional ones.

And although hundreds of opponents staged protests outside the state capitol building during past legislative fights over gay marriage, there were none July 29. The 'Massachusetts Family Institute' issued a statement deriding passage of the repeal legislation but said nothing about any options to take their fight to the ballot or defeat legislators who supported it.

Lisa Barstow, a spokesperson for the group, said the organization might provide some guidance to opponents of same-sex marriage in California, Florida and Arizona, where such battles will be on the ballot in November.

©2008 Keen News Service

This article shared 2406 times since Fri Aug 1, 2008
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

WORLD Japan politics, video games, lesbian tennis player, Mr. Gay World 2021-10-10
- LGBTQ+-rights activists were hoping Japan would finally allow same-sex marriage if Taro Kono, who has publicly supported same-sex marriage, became the country's next prime minister—but their hopes were dashed. Japan's ...

Gay News

"I can't be silent": Michael O'Connor discusses his longtime activism 2021-10-04
By Kayleigh Padar - Years ago, longtime activist Michael O'Connor heard that some Black legislators in Illinois didn't want to support the Marriage Equality Act because they didn't believe Black people would benefit from same-sex marriage. He decided to prove ...

Gay News

Liz Cheney: 'I was wrong' to oppose same-sex marriage 2021-09-27
- U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney said—in a segment of the CBS show 60 Minutes that aired Sept. 26—she was "wrong" to oppose same-sex marriage when her objection to it caused a public split with her family, including ...

Gay News

Nearly two-thirds of Swiss residents vote for marriage equality 2021-09-26
- Almost two-thirds of Switzerland's voters backed the government's plan to introduce same-sex marriage in a referendum held Sept. 26, with campaigners calling it a historic day for gay rights in Switzerland, Yahoo! News reported, citing AFP. ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Danica Roem, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' abortion appeal, Lambda Legal 2021-09-26
- Transgender Virginia legislator Danica Roem is facing a conservative marriage-equality opponent and former Trump administration member in her re-election race this November, Yahoo! News noted. Roem, a Democrat, was elected to the House of Delegates in ...

Gay News

WORLD Marches, world leaders, Swiss marriage, soccer match 2021-09-26
- Thousands of people including soldiers and diplomats marched peacefully through the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in an annual Pride parade despite some opposition to an event called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters ...

Gay News

[UPDATE] Lisle school offers job to lacrosse coach in same-sex marriage 2021-09-21
- The administration at Lisle’s Benet Academy, a west suburban Catholic school, has reversed course and offered a job to a woman in a same-sex marriage after initially rescinding the offer, The Chicago Tribune reported. ...

Gay News

Pope again refuses to bless same-sex marriages 2021-09-18
- Pope Francis told reporters recently on a return flight from Hungary that the Catholic Church is unable to bless same-sex marriages because marriage is a divine sacrament between a man and a woman, per The Advocate. ...

Gay News

Polis marriage marks first same-sex wedding of sitting governor 2021-09-17
- On Sept. 15, Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wed longtime partner Marlon Reis—marking the first same-sex marriage of a sitting U.S. governor, NPR reported. Polis keeps making history. In 2018, Polis became the first openly gay ...

Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate two Illinois marriage certificate modernization bills 2021-07-27
--From a press release - Trans and non-binary people who were married in Illinois will now be able to obtain marriage certificates that reflect their authentic selves thanks to legislation signed today by Governor JB Pritzker, according to Equality Illinois and ...

Gay News

WORLD Marriage in Chile, Polish website, Toronto news, 'Reclaim Pride' march 2021-07-25
- On July 21, Chile's Senate approved an equal-marriage bill, reported. The regulations were presented during the second government of the socialist Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018) and last June 1, during ...

Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate passage of Illinois marriage certificate name change legislation 2021-05-28
--From a press release - LGBTQ advocates are celebrating passage of state legislation that will provide certainty for individuals requesting that their Illinois marriage certificates reflect a legal name change. HB 2590 is an initiative of Equality Illinois and Chicago House ...

Gay News

LGBT-inclusive marriage-certificate act passes state General Assembly 2021-05-21
--From a press release - May 21. 2021 - In an effort to modernize marriage certificates in Illinois, state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz and state Rep. Ann Williams helped pass The Marriage Certificate Modernization Act through the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation ...

Gay News

Starting May 3, ceremonies in Cook County's downtown Marriage Court can be performed by Zoom 2021-04-30
- CHICAGO (April 30) — Marriage and civil union ceremonies at Cook County's downtown Marriage and Civil Union Court (Marriage Court) may be performed via Zoom videoconference, as well as in person, starting next week, according to ...

Gay News

Illinois Senate passes proposal removing gendered language from marriage certificates 2021-04-21
--From a press release - On April 21, on its third reading, the Illinois Senate passed (by a bipartisan vote of 44-13) a proposal that amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to allow the removal of gendered language ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.