BOSTON (BP)–Out-of-state same-sex couples “married” in Massachusetts may see their licenses voided if Gov. Mitt Romney has his way.
In the days leading up to May 17, the Republican governor ordered the state’s clerks to issue marriage licenses only to Massachusetts residents or those planning on moving to the state. But at least four cities — Provincetown, Somerville, Worcester and Springfield — defied Romney’s order.
Romney has requested that the four cities send his office copies of the marriage license applications. In addition, Romney is considering seeking a court injunction to prevent out-of-staters from “marrying,” The Boston Globe reported. Fines and jail time won’t be requested.
“We’re not looking to make martyrs of anyone,” a Romney aide told The Globe. “We’re looking to resolve this with a civil case.”
A 1913 Massachusetts law prevents couples from getting married if their marriage would not be valid in their home state. While the law initially was aimed at interracial marriages, Romney said it also applies to same-sex “marriage.”
Massachusetts is the only state with legalized same-sex “marriage.”
“They only asked for the [applications from] out-of-state couples,” Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone told The Globe. “It’s surprising and concerning. I just hope that politics aren’t coming into play here.”
At least in the short-term, Romney’s action could be important. Same-sex couples need a valid marriage license in order to mount a significant legal challenge to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which gives states the option of not recognizing another state’s same-sex “marriage.”
But even if Romney is successful, a same-sex couple “married” in Massachusetts could move to another state and sue for recognition of the license there.
“It’s America in 2004. I think legal action is guaranteed,” Kevin Cathcart, executive director of the homosexual activist group Lambda Legal, told the Associated Press. “It’s going to take the legal system and the political system quite some time to work this all out.”
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit