Wednesday, February 15, 2006

SJC Indecisive on Out-of-State SSM

Deadlines? The SJC don't need no stinking deadlines, particularly on deciding whether out-of-state gay couples can marry here. It has notified lawyers that it won't meet the 130-day target for ruling on the matter after the October 6, 2005, oral arguments.

An AP piece notes that the same-sex-marriage ruling came 250 days after arguments. The lawyers are cool, taking the announcement in stride. The president-elect of the state bar association, Mark Mason, said, "it could be due to a multiplicity of issues, including the court's own backlog."

The case arose when eight homosexual couples sued after being denied marriage licenses here. Capt'n Brylcreem, a.k.a. Gov. Willard Mitt Romney, ordered the enforcement of a bigoted 1913 law still on the books and designed to keep interracial couples from wedding if their marriages would be illegal in their home states.

The whole background on the delay and 1913 law is in an article on the Springfield Republican site.

Many folk, including we humble bloggers, have drawn attention to Romney and Attorney General Tom Reilly's sudden awareness of this racist law. Using it against gay couples stinks.

A further level of irony is that Romney and Reilly and now maybe the SJC seem to be overly cautious of respecting other states' laws, in the spirit of the Full Faith and Credit Clause. The joke's on us now because so many states are passing DoMA legislation targeted at Massachusetts marriages. They are supported by then-President Bill Clinton's worst expediency in his tenure, the federal DoMA law that permits states to thumb their noses at marriages legal elsewhere.

They tell Massachusetts to shut up and sit down and we say, "Yes, sir."

Clearly what needs to happen is:
  • Overturn this vestigial, racist law.
  • Marry out-of-state couples when they meet our existing requirements.
  • Look with amusement if they go home and ask for full-faith-and-credit recognition.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here in NH it is against the law for first cousins to marry. It is legal in Mass. I know on at least one couple living here in NH who are first cousins and married in Mass. The married while being a resident of NH. Is Mass preventing out of staters who are first cousins from marrying if it is illegal in their home state. I would be interested to know. My sister in law who is half of the couple I mentioned just told me she knows of three other couples who are first cousins. She said one of the couples was married in Lowell last October.