Massachusetts Opens Gay Marriage to Other States
Special Report - August 4, 2008
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill, S800, into law that allows same-sex couples across the country to be married in Massachusetts before returning to their home state. The law, effective immediately, repeals a 1913 law that banned the issuance of marriage licenses to couples from states whose laws do not recognize the marriage. S800 passed easily through the Massachusetts legislature with unanimous consent in the Senate and a 119-36 vote in the House.
This law makes Massachusetts the second state, behind California, to open its borders and marriage laws to same-sex couples nationwide. California has an amendment on the ballot this November, which establishes marriage as the union of one man and one woman, in an attempt to undo a court ruling from earlier this year that established a right to homosexual marriage in the state. Currently, there is a battle over the wording of the amendment’s description on the ballot. California Attorney General Jerry Brown recently changed the description from “Prop 8 Amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized” to “Prop 8 Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.”
Bill Brooks, President of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, said that “passage of the Massachusetts’ law means that passage of the California marriage amendment will not protect other states from the chaos of legal challenges from same-sex couples, who travel across state lines to be married and want their marriages recognized in their home state. The ability of citizens to democratically choose to preserve this established definition of marriage is under serious threat. It is now more important than ever that the North Carolina General Assembly act quickly to pass a marriage amendment to preserve marriage in our state.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.