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 MassEquality.org:
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,