Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly continues showing his intent to destroy his credibility and any shot at governor in the next election. His latest was announcing that the 1913 law aimed at keeping peace with segregationist/antimiscegenation states was not dusted off for same-sex marriages.
Excuse me for a moment, while I stop snickering.
The law (207:11) forbids solemnizing marriages that would not be valid in another state. It was passed to keep black/white couples from the South from sneaking into the Bay State then returning home married.
It has not been used for decades until Gov. Mitt Romney discovered it and made it clear that Justices of the Peace, town clerks and others here were disobeying this law if they married out-of-state homosexual couples.
Reilly claimed (Globe here and the print edition of the Herald has a short on it) that the law was applied equally to het and gay couples. Previously he had announced a few times that he would continue to enforce it, pulling the public-servant, it's-the-law-of-the-land ploy.
To many here, the point is that this is a lame law, a vestige of racist hate, now used to keep peace with anti-gay states' legislature and governors. An attorney general with guts, one worthy of being governor, would say as much and ask our lawmakers to toss this turkey.
In an afternoon addendum, the coverage at 365gay.com provides more details on Reilly's filing in reaction to a GLAD suit for couples from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The background was that Superior Court Justice Carol Ball upheld the law, although she was troubled by the state suddenly finding reason to enforce it. She rules that nothing in it said it was to be enforced only on homosexuals.
Reilly's filing admitted that there was a greater likelihood that it would be applied to same-sex couples attempting to marry in Massachusetts. "The Registrar has made every effort to do so in a manner that treats same-sex and opposite-sex out-of-state marriage applicants evenhandedly," he wrote.
Perhaps such lawyers will always try to twist the truth in spirals to gain political advantage. One can hope that the court does not let them get away with it.