Today, Friday, Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly ruled that same-sex couples from Rhode Island have the right to marry in Massachusetts, finding that Rhode Island laws do not expressly prohibit gay marriage.
GLAD, The Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, represented eight out-of-state couples in challenging the Massachusetts 1913 Law which prohibited out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying in Massachusetts. Our 1913 Law bases its pohibitions on the fact that if a state does not allow same-sex marriage then Massachusetts will not marry couples here. GLAD represented plaintiff couples from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont as well as New York and Rhode Island. Our court needed clarification on New York and Rholde Island and today, Rhode Island has been granted permission.
In an interesting twist, Attorney General Tom Reilly who originally argued that since Rhode Island laws' use of gender-specific terms include "bride" and "groom" then its law intended to define marriage as between a man and a woman. However, today after Judge Connolly's decision, Tom Reilly is quoted as saying that an appeal "would be a waste of time and resources." And that "this case has always been about respecting the laws of other states."
Well, THANK YOU, Mr. Attorney General. Thank you GLAD. And thank you to the plaintiff couples.
And Welcome Rhode Island to join us on our road to Equality.
Tom Lang, Co-Director
***** Latest Update Regarding Mitt Romney *****
October 1st, 2006, The Boston Globe reports that Mitt Romney "all but admitted defeat" in his effort to appeal this Suffolk Superior Court ruling that will allow gay couples from Rhode Island to marry in Massachusetts. Romney's is quoted, "I have to follow the law. This is a nation of laws, even if I don't like them."
For the full Boston Globe story see Romney says he must obey law on marriage for out-of-state gay couples