The Massachussetts legislature is considering repealing their ban on out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying in that state, and there's a good chance it'll pass:
Senator Dianne Wilkerson, who is championing the issue in the state Senate, said she is "extremely optimistic" that the repeal bill will pass today and proceed to the House, where advocates are also optimistic about approval. Wilkerson said she is not expecting a heated debate, despite the volatility of the gay marriage issue on Beacon Hill for the last several years.[...]
Wilkerson said that, as an African-American woman, she is proud to support the repeal of the 1913 law, because it originated when lawmakers in many states were trying to prevent interracial couples from crossing state lines to marry.
The law fell into obscurity, but remained on the books until 2004, when Governor Mitt Romney, a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage, invoked it to prevent out-of-state gay and lesbian couples from marrying here and forcing their home states to consider recognizing Massachusetts marriage law, which began licensing same-sex marriages in 2004.
Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi support repealing the law, as does the current governor.
"If that bill comes to me, I will sign it and sign it proudly," Patrick said yesterday.
There aren't that many states that'll recognize these marriages anyway (CA and NY), but I guess if people want to fly or drive all the way out to Massachusetts to get a piece of paper to make themselves feel better, then more power to them.
The Religious Right is against this, of course:
As the final few weeks of the session wind down, the Massachusetts legislature has decided to resurrect the controversial attempt to repeal the "1913 Law" - which the homosexual lobby has been crusading for and which is one of their "goals" for 2008. Rumors had been swirling around in the "gay" press about this. Last week it was on the front page of the Boston Globe.
The bill would destabilize the Massachusetts marriage laws (see details below). Currently no out-of-state couple can get "married" in Massachusetts if that marriage would not be legal in their home state. This would overturn that law (passed by several states in 1913) and allow any homosexual couple in America to get "married" here - and cause havoc in their home states. (It would also cause Massachusetts to be a "gay marriage" capital of the world. If you think "gay pride week" was bad, imagine seeing it all year around.)
Repealing this law is a major goal of the homosexual movement, in order to help spread homosexual "marriage" around the country. Couples from across America would come here, get "married" and then demand (using court challenges) that their home states legally recognize those marriages because of the US Constitution's "full faith and credit" clause.
Jeez, even "goals" gets scare quotes.
It's funny because they have nothing - there is no explanation "below" about how it'll "destabilize" marriage law, because it won't. And the Full Faith and Credit Clause has never been used to make another state recognize a marriage it didn't want to, so I don't really know what they're talking about there.
I do like the reference to Pride Week. This isn't about marriage or families or any other ruse - it's just that they don't want to have to look at queer people. At least they're honest.
The Williams Institute also said that there'd be a lot of money here:
Consider these numbers: An estimated 32,200 same-sex couples from elsewhere would travel to the state to get married over the next three years. That would pump $111 million into the economy and yield another $5 million in marriage license fees and sales and occupancy taxes.
The authors consider their estimates conservative because they estimated only the spending on tourism and wedding expenses for the couples themselves, not for guests, and because they estimated the typical celebration expense at $2,962, one-tenth of what a typical wedding in the United States costs.
Update: It passed the MA Senate.