Friday, October 07, 2005

Dusty Discrimination Debate

"Nothing in [that ruling] says that our officials can discriminate simply because officials in other states discriminate," GLAD attorney Michele Granda told the Supreme Judicial Court here yesterday. She came down on the side of fairness and civil rights in arguing against forbidding out-of-state same-sex couples to marry here.

Eight such couples have sued for the right to marry. Shortly after such marriages started here, Attorney General Tom Reilly dragged out a 1913 anti-miscegenation-based law forbidding couples to wed if those marriages would not be legal in their home states. The AP has the basics here.

Our governor, Mitt Romney, wins the speciousness award with his previous comment on the matter —— that he did not want Massachusetts to become "the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage." His wig's on too tight.

The unfortunate deputy attorney Generalarguingg for the state, Peter Sacks, had the sorry job of pretending that enforcing the law was not discriminatory. He even denied its racial background, and in response to a question from the court's black judge.

You can check out the flimsy garment of argument from Sacks' side in the lead Boston Herald editorial today. It includes a Sacks quote about the commonwealth having a "legitimate interest in ensuring that the couple's marital status will be recognized and those marital rights and duties will be definitely andpromptery enforceable." Of course, the nation's legal tradition of states extending full faith and credit to each others' laws is supposed to do that. We can no more ensure the honor and respect of another state than we can write their laws.

Meanwhile, the decision should come down within four months.

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