Friday, August 01, 2008

Repeal of Massachusetts law barring marriages illegal in other states

The title to this post takes you to an article in today's Boston Globe about Governor Deval Patrick signing a bill that repeals 1913 Massachusetts statute, MGL 207, section 11, Non-residents; marriages contrary to laws of domiciled state. You can also read here, the home page for GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders).

The gay and lesbian community and friends welcome this change to Massachusetts law. But it's also a wonderful thing to contemplate the governor who is signing the repeal of this old statute. In 1913, when it was passed, the law was not about gay marriage, which was not legal in any state. It was all about preventing different race couples from out of state flocking to Massachusetts to get married. In those days, miscegenation laws in southern and many other states prevented marriage between heterosexual couples of different races. The first black governor of Massachusetts is a pretty cool person to have signing this law out of existence! He also has a daughter who recently came out of the closet, both to her parents and to the public. So, what a meaningful act, Governor Patrick! You go!

The image of swans is courtesy of I started using swans as a image when I blog about gay marriage some years ago. I was inspired not only by the fact that swans mate for life, but that in the Boston Public Gardens, the much-loved swan couple, known as Romeo and Juliet, turned out to be Juliet and Juliet.

1 comment:

Marie S. Newman said...

Thanks for this insightful post, Betsy. I had forgotten the origins of the statute. It's a good reminder that things that are commonplace today, i.e., interracial marriage, were once banned. So too, I hope, with gay marriage.