Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Massachusetts Senate votes to let out-of-state gays marry

Marriage equality took another giant step forward today as the Massachusetts Senate voted to repeal a 1913 law used to bar out-of-state gay couples from marrying in the state.

The Associated Press reports:

The move to repeal the law, which prohibits couples from obtaining marriage licenses if they couldn't legally wed in their home states, is driven in part by California's recent legalization of same-sex marriage.

The House is expected to vote on the repeal later this week. Gov. Deval Patrick, whose 18-year-old daughter announced publicly last month that she is a lesbian, would have 10 days to sign it. [...]

Patrick, a Democrat and the state's first black governor, said the 95-year-old statute also carries a racist taint.

The law dates to a time when the majority of states outlawed interracial marriages. Critics said the law was designed to smooth relations with those states. Massachusetts has allowed interracial marriages since 1843.

Dianne Wilkerson, the Massachusetts Senate's lone black member, said the vote was long overdue. She called the law "evil."
Same-sex couples in Massachusetts have been able to legally marry since 2006. I'd be willing to bet a quick check of records for the state would indicate no increase in the number of heterosexual couples divorcing ... and the earth has continued to spin.

So I'm not sure what all the fuss is about.

And hey, it could be a boost for an ailing economy! A California research firm predicts that lesbian and gay couples in their state will spend as much as $684 million over the next three years on cakes, photographers and other services -- that is unless voters reverse the high court's decision in November.

The researchers found that about half of the state's more than 100,000 same-sex couples will get married during the next three years, and an additional 68,000 out-of-state couples will travel to California to exchange vows. The study estimated that over that period, gay weddings will generate $64 million in tax revenue for the state, $9 million in marriage-license fees for counties, and some 2,200 jobs.
It couldn't be happening at a better time!

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3 comments:

Infidel753 said...

And hey, it could be a boost for an ailing economy! A California research firm predicts that lesbian and gay couples in their state will spend as much as $684 million over the next three years on cakes, photographers and other services -- that is unless voters reverse the high court's decision in November.

Very likely. I remember when Multnomah county, where I live, legalized gay marriage a few years ago. People came here from all over Oregon and Washington and businesses like hotels and restaurants did very well. There were couples lined up around the block at the county building where marriage licenses were issued. It was a really festive atmosphere.

Unfortunately a few months later conservatives ruined the whole thing with a statewide ballot initiative which reversed the county's action, but that's unlikely to happen in Massachusetts.

Mary Ellen said...

I never could understand that thing about gay marriage being a threat to heterosexual marriages, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. The threat to most marriages is money troubles, isn't it?

mwb said...

Excellent. I can now power my house with Falwell spinning corpse! Keep it up!

Once Phelps kicks the bucket hook him up, make LGBT rights national law and we can powerup NYC!