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Q: Gay Marriage Provisions in Massachusetts and Quebec ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Gay Marriage Provisions in Massachusetts and Quebec
Category: Relationships and Society > Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual
Asked by: swede_oak-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 18 Apr 2004 08:32 PDT
Expires: 18 May 2004 08:32 PDT
Question ID: 332122
Can gays from California marry in Massachusetts?  Since California
does not recognize marriages between two persons of the same sex, will
Massachusetts deny the application from two individuals who reside in
California?  Is it likely that the governor of Massachusetts will
succeed in defering the issue all together?
Subject: Re: Gay Marriage Provisions in Massachusetts and Quebec
Answered By: phiguru-ga on 20 Apr 2004 11:09 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Howdy Swede_oak!

The short answer to your questions is maybe.  

As of May 17, 2004, same-sex marriage in Massachusetts will be
possible for Mass. residents.  There is little chance that anything
will stop it.

For non-Mass residents, however, there is an old law on the books that
may interfere because that marriage would be illegal in their home
state.  At this time, learned people on both sides of the fight are
unsure as to whether or not local officials will enforce that law.  My
personal guess is that some gay-friendly municipalities (like
Cambridge) would be less likely to enforce it, but there are no
guarantees at this point.  The Commonwealth has scheduled training for
town/city clerks in early-May and this may be one of the issues that
is clarified at that time.

A recent Boston Globe column addressed the archaic law and its
origins.  A copy of the article is posted on

As to the Governor, his only option to ask the Supreme Judicial Court
in writing to stay the implementation of same-sex marriage because of
significant action that has occurred since the time of their opinion. 
Either the Attorney General must write that request or the legislature
must appoint special counsel to write the request.   The AG has stated
that he will not write the letter to the SJC, so last week the
Governor asked the legislature.  Public consensus is that the
legislature will not raise the issue in time for the SJC to revise its
ruling and that they are not likely to allow special counsel because
it sets a bad precedent.  Also, even if such an appeal is made to the
SJC, it is unlikely that they would consider the passage of the
consitutional amendment by one legislative body (of three) significant
enough to warrant extending the stay.

The Boston Globe wrote an article about the Govenor's latest attempt
to stay same-sex marriage.  A copy of the article is posted on

For more information on getting married in Massachusetts, the Gay &
Lesbian Advocates & Defenders has posted a fantastic FAQ:

GLAD has also written a FAQ for getting married in Canada (British
Colombia & Ontario):

Good luck & thanks for your question,
swede_oak-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.00
Thank you for the helpful information and direction.  I have left a
message with the Pastor at First Congregational church in Cambridge to
see if they can marry us in late May.

Subject: Re: Gay Marriage Provisions in Massachusetts and Quebec
From: phiguru-ga on 25 Apr 2004 10:21 PDT
Thanks for your feedback.  :)

I have a sad update for you that may limit your plans for now.  
According to the Boston Globe, the govenor has decided to enforce the
non-resident law.   Apparently people will be asked to present proof
of residency when applying for the license.  I expect there will be a
legal challenge.  This may also change again between now and the 17th.
  To be on the safe side, you may not want to buy your airline tickets
just yet.

Best wishes for a joyous marriage,

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