UPDATE: Massachusetts Senate Votes to Repeal 1913 Marriage Law

UPDATE: The Senate has passed the bill. It now heads to the House, where it has the support of Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi. Governor Deval Patrick has indicated he will sign it.


News came last week that this was coming, and it looks like the vote may happen soon…

Cape_codThe Boston Globe: “The 1913 statute prevents Massachusetts from sanctioning marriages that are not legal in the state where the couple lives. The law was enacted in part to prevent interracial couples from evading their own state’s ban by traveling to Massachusetts to marry. It was a little-used and rarely enforced law until opponents used it to prevent out-of-state gay couples from getting married in Massachusetts after the state legalized same-sex marriage in 2004.”

WCVB reports: “State lawmakers are expected to vote this afternoon on repealing a law that restricts out-of-state gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts.”

Predicted Arline Isaacson, of the Mass. Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus: “We are going to win this easily. It is not going to be a very difficult fight. People have gotten more and more used to same-sex marriage in the state. People who were once afraid of it or opposed to it find it either not something to fear or they just don’t care because it has not affected their lives in a negative way at all.”

More news as it comes…


  1. MAJeff says

    The fact that DiMasi supports it–whatever the rest of the membership thinks, and there’s no reason to think there’s any kind of heavy opposition–pretty much means the law will go bye-bye.

  2. Zeke says

    If this was the right thing to do then why wasn’t it the right thing to do BEFORE California took the lead.

    As much as I appreciate this long overdue move toward justice and equality I can’t help but realize that this move came about NOT because it was the right thing to do for justice and equality (if so they would have already done it) but rather was the result of the realization of all the money and good will that will be flowing west to California from states like New York.

    It’s a shame that economics always seems to trump “doing the right thing” as a driving force for advancing human and civil rights.

  3. Zeke says

    JACK, that may be true but do you disagree with my observation. This law has been being enforced for over FOUR years now and the MA Senate and House has not seen fit to address it. Why now if it isn’t to cash in on California’s cross country marriage boom? Can you offer another possible reason why this legislation is coming about now when they have been aware of EVERYTHING they know now for over four years?

    This is not about looking a gift horse in the mouth. This is about being curious about why I’m now being offered a horse that was actively withheld from me for 4+ years only after someone else already gave me a horse. This is about being politically aware and holding our government accountable. If you are not aware, our government is OUR EMPLOYEE who we PAY. NOTHING they “give” us is a “gift” especially not when it is something that should never have been withheld in the first place.

    I think it’s perfectly fair to ask the question and I think it’s perfectly fair to point out the facts so that the MA legislature doesn’t get to act as if they rushed to right this wrong simply because they understood that it was unjust, unfair and unequal.

    I still believe that this was an decision influenced primarily by economics and not by a sense of justice and I still believe that that’s a damn shame.

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