Gays Can’t Come to Massachusetts to Marry

Marriage-minded gays from Alabama should not head Massachusetts.

AP’s Jay Lindsey reports,

The Supreme Judicial Court, which three years ago made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage, upheld a 1913 state law that forbids nonresidents from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would not be recognized in their home state. “The laws of this commonwealth have not endowed non-residents with an unfettered right to marry,” the court wrote in its 38-page opinion. “Only non-resident couples who come to Massachusetts to marry and intend to reside in this commonwealth thereafter can be issued a marriage license without consideration of any impediments to marriage that existed in their former home states.”

This is good news for one particular resident with his eye on a move to D.C. come 2009:

Gov. Mitt Romney applauded the ruling. “We don’t want Massachusetts to become the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage,” Romney said. “It’s important that other states have the right to make their own determination of marriage and not follow the wrong course that our Supreme Judicial Court put us on.”

At least one Alabama couple is distraught, however:

Christopher McCary and John Sullivan, among the first gay couples married in the state, said they still consider themselves married, even if Thursday’s ruling means they’re just two guys living in the same house in Alabama. “It really doesn’t change anything,” said McCary, an attorney in Anniston. “We’re like everybody else. He has two jobs, I have one and we both work all the time.”

Of course, since the Massachussetts courts have no jurisdiction over Alabama, that was true regardless.

And, while they no longer have any bearing on this story, the lyrics of “Please Come to Boston” (the David Allan Coe version, naturally) are still stuck in my head.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘Weâ??re like everybody else.’

    No doubt.