MARRIAGE DIGEST: Mass. governor tries to stop out-of-staters

by Michael Foust, posted Friday, May 21, 2004 (10 years ago)

BOSTON (BP)--Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney asked the state’s attorney general May 20 to stop clerks from issuing marriage licenses to out-of-state same-sex couples.

Romney sent Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly the copies of 10 license applications from Provincetown and Springfield involving couples from other states who had received marriage licenses, The Boston Globe reported.

A court injunction eventually may be necessary, Romney said.

In the days leading up to the legalization of same-sex “marriage” May 17, Romney, a Republican, said a 1913 law prevented the state from issuing marriage licenses to out-of-state same-sex couples if their home state would not recognize the license. No other state has legalized same-sex “marriage.”

The Massachusetts Senate passed a bill May 19 overturning the 1913 law, although it must still pass the House and Romney has said he would veto it. It passed the Senate by a vote of 28-3.

Apparently, Romney and Reilly are in agreement on the law being enforced. But Reilly, a Democrat, said Romney can enforce the law without the aid of the attorney general.

“I want to recognize here and acknowledge that the governor of Massachusetts has special authority and jurisdiction when it comes to the regulation of the issuance of marriage [licenses], and enforcement of the marriage laws and process,” Reilly said, according to The Globe. I certainly understand that authority, and I respect that authority. We will take it in that context.”

Homosexual activists have been vocal in their intent to use the licenses to sue in order for same-sex “marriage” to be legalized in other states and eventually nationwide.

“It's America in 2004. I think legal action is guaranteed," Kevin Cathcart, executive director of Lambda Legal, said recently. "It's going to take the legal system and the political system quite some time to work this all out."

Although Romney’s action may slow that effort, in-state couples would still be able to move out-of-state and sue.

MISSOURI LAWSUIT -- A lawsuit apparently will decide the date that Missouri citizens vote on a state constitutional marriage amendment.

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon wants the election held in August and filed suit May 20 against Secretary of State Matt Blunt, who says it will be held in November. Nixon filed suit after Blunt said he wouldn’t follow the recommendation of Missouri Gov. Bob Holden, who also wants the election held in August.

Nixon and Holden are Democrats; Blunt is a Republican.

Blunt won the first round in court May 21, when a state judge said the governor could not order an August vote because Blunt had not yet received an official copy of the amendment from the legislature. Blunt faces a May 25 deadline in notifying local election officials of items that will be on the ballot, the Associated Press reported. Republicans in the legislature plan on waiting past that deadline to send an official copy of the amendment to Blunt, forcing a November vote.

The date of the ballot has political implications. If the amendment is voted on in November, it could impact the presidential race, because conservative Republicans may be more likely to vote for the amendment. The ballot initiative also could impact the governor’s race: Blunt may face Holden in the November general election, The Kansas City Star reported.

OREGON GETS THE OK –- Pro-family groups in Oregon will soon be collecting signatures for a marriage amendment after the Oregon Supreme Court gave the final go-ahead May 20.

The groups must collect some 100,000 signatures by July 2. Pro-family supporters in Oregon fear that a case making its way through the state courts eventually will result in legalized same-sex “marriage.” The marriage amendment would protect the state from a Massachusetts-type ruling.

The petition drive seems to be the only way an amendment will make its way into the state constitution. Oregon House Speaker Karen Minnis said May 14 she will not introduce a marriage amendment when the legislature gathers for a special session in June, AP reported.

The latest poll shows that the amendment would pass if the election were held today. According to a KGW-TV poll of 792 likely voters, 51 percent support the amendment, 39 percent oppose it and 10 percent remain undecided.

THE NEXT MASSACHUSETTS? -- Although Massachusetts is the only state with legalized same-sex “marriage,” lawsuits in other states could change that.

The Arizona Supreme Court soon will decide whether to hear a same-sex “marriage” case that homosexual activists lost in lower courts, The Arizona Republic reported.

In Indiana, the state appeals court also is considering a same-sex “marriage” case, The Indianapolis Star reported.

But the courts in Arizona and Indiana aren’t as likely to issue pro-same-sex “marriage” rulings as are courts in states such as New Jersey and Oregon, where cases are pending.

STRONG KY. SUPPPORT –- Kentucky voters appear ready to pass a state marriage amendment this fall according to a new poll. The Courier-Journal poll found that 70 percent of likely voters favor the amendment. The poll of 665 likely voters was conducted May 5-11.

STATE UPDATE –- Marriage amendments in Louisiana and Tennessee advanced in voting May 18-19, while an amendment in Alabama died.

In Louisiana, the House and Senate easily passed similar marriage amendments, and now must agree on the language of the amendment before voting again. If it passes both chambers, it would go before voters this fall. The House passed its version 87-11, while the Senate passed its version 31-4, according to AP.

In Tennessee, the Senate passed a marriage amendment by a vote of 28-1, following passage in the House days earlier. It must now pass both chambers again in the next session before going to voters in 2006, The Tennessean reported.

In Alabama, the legislature adjourned May 17 without voting on a marriage amendment. Rep. Gerald Dial, a supporter of the amendment, told AP he would try to bring up the amendment during a special session this year or during the regular session next year.


For more information about the national debate over same-sex "marriage," visit

http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage