Judge: Rhode Island Gays Can Wed in Massachussetts
Another loophole has opened in the gay marriage front, with a judge ruling that Rhode Island gays can marry in Massachusetts.
A gay couple from Rhode Island has the right to marry in Massachusetts because laws in their home state do not expressly prohibit same-sex marriage, a judge ruled Friday.
Wendy Becker and Mary Norton of Providence argued that a 1913 law that forbids out-of-state residents from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would not be permitted in their home state did not apply to them because Rhode Island does not specifically ban gay marriage.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly agreed. “No evidence was introduced before this court of a constitutional amendment, statute, or controlling appellate decision from Rhode Island that explicitly deems void or otherwise expressly forbids same-sex marriage,” he ruled.
Although the ruling allows same-sex couples from Rhode Island to get married in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts court has no power to ensure that Rhode Island recognizes such marriages. No other states are affected.
The ruling is rather bizarre. Presumably, if same-sex marriage were legally permissible in Rhode Island, Becker and Norton could save themselves a trip to Massachusetts, not to mention court costs, and just get married in Rhode Island.
One wonders what’s stopping them. . .