The legislative measure, which would kill the 1913 law once and for all, is heading for the desk of our governor, Deval Patrick, to be signed into law. Since Patrick was wheeling and dealing in favor of keeping same-sex marriage legal in the state, the results are pretty much a foregone conclusion.
There's a strange sense of historical irony in having Patrick, the state's first African-American governor, putting a stake in the 1913 marriage law which existed strictly due to racism. The law's initial purpose was to prevent out-of-state interracial couples from coming into the state to pick up a marriage license if their home state made such a union illegal.
Okay, sure, if you're gay or lesbian and live in a state where any marriage between you and your fiance would be illegal, a marriage license from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts isn't going to do you a whole lot of good. (But those licenses would be suitable for framing! So there's that...) And it'll do diddly for you if you have to deal with the Feds. (I think your marriage licenses would look lovely on that wall right over there. Not that wall. The other one.)
But, on the other hand, I think Massachusetts would be a lovely place for a honeymoon. (Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island are beautiful in the fall...so a September group wedding. Yes?)
This was all done without any fanfare or any outcry.
It appears that, for now, civil rights in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts scores a permanent win. Assuming the U.S. Federal Government doesn't turn around and rip the heart right out of that win. (Hey! Notice how all those state rightists suddenly because federalists when a state they don't live in does something they don't like? Funny how that shit works...)
At any right, despite the slings and arrows of the homophobes nation-wide, along with a few people praying for fire and brimstone to rain down on our heads, I am pleased to report that:
- There's still no rain of toads
- There's still no rain of rocks
- The air is distinctly brimstone-free
Although I must confess that I did notice that dogs and cats are starting to live together in perfect harmony...hmmmmmm....
Go read my earlier post to read more about the 1913 marriage law.
Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen writes about the 'Massachusetts Family Institute' continued fight against same-sex marriage, even though they've been relegated to the "crank file" in the state.
Information about the repeal has already hit Wikipedia. Sheesh. That was fast.
Gov. Patrick is singing 'Money, Money, Money' because the estimated windfall to the state is $116 million in GLBT tourist dollars in just 3 years, thanks to the repeal of the 1913 law. That's right. That just includes the estimated amount to be made in tourism. It does not include the potential money to be made from businesses and tax-paying citizens moving into the state.