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Massachusetts Progressive Politics and other news of the world

 

Hey Lege! Repeal 1913 Law Already


The Jim Crow era law that Romney used to limit same-sex marriages is in the news again. It's putting Reilly into a corner, as he tries to run for Governor and be the Attorney General at the same time:
Reilly, who is vying for the Democratic Party's nomination for governor next year, once opposed same-sex marriage and the November 2003 Supreme Judicial Court ruling that legalized such marriages. More recently, he has said he supports same-sex marriage, saying, ''It's time to move on." As attorney general, though, he will be called upon to defend the 1913 law banning marriages in Massachusetts of couples who are not allowed to marry under the laws of their home states.

Supporters of same-sex marriage are attempting to overturn the 1913 law. They say it is a long-ignored statute with roots in turn-of-the-century efforts to stop the spread of mixed-race marriages.

Arline Isaacson, cochairwoman of the Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, lashed out at Reilly for defending ''the discriminatory law and its discriminatory application to gay people."

She also said that Reilly is trying to play both sides of the issue as he ramps up his gubernatorial campaign by saying he supports gay marriage while defending the 1913 law.
The Legislature needs to get on this: (1) it's the right thing to do (2) we need to solve as many problems in the legislature, not the courts as possible (as David at BlueMass wrote about earlier) (3) it will help all Dem candidates get past this so that we can make the election about jobs, education, and healthcare.

On another note, I just went to get a marriage license recently, and it was uncomfortable reading the stipulations on out-of-state marriage that I had to agree didn't apply to me. Knowing how it's being used to discriminate was kind of unsettling. On the other hand, I can attest that they are doing this to straight couples as well, to play Romney's game (from same article):
In a brief filed at Superior Court last year, Reilly rejected the argument that the law is discriminatory, because he said it applies to same-sex and heterosexual couples alike.
This is ridiculous. If you say that another state's laws take precedence over our own, and those laws discriminate, then this law becomes a proxy for a discriminatory law -- it's a cute game, but we shouldn't play it.

It's as if we had a law that said anyone could vote as long as it was legal for them to vote in Saudi Arabia.