Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A.G. OKs question to reinstate gay-marriage ban - BostonHerald.com

A.G. OKs question to reinstate gay-marriage ban - BostonHerald.com

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley today authorized a ballot question proposing to reinstate a nearly century old law barring out-of-state gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts.

The so-called 1913 law was repealed by the Legislature in late June.

In her ruling, Coakley said the question’s supporters, MassResistance, had met the necessary technical requirement for filing a ballot question. The group must now gather 33,000 signatures by the end of October to appear on the November 2010 ballot.

Coakley differentiated between her official duties and any personal feeling she may have on the issue.

"Our decision that this referendum meets the constitutional requirements as to subject matter does not mean that it has our support, but simply that the constitutional requirements are met for the proponents of the referendum to obtain further signatures," Coakley said in a statement.

Her predecessor, former Attorney General Tom Reilly, issued a similar statement in 2005 when he authorized a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage among Massachusetts residents.

Gay couples have been allowed to legally wed since May 2004, six months after the Supreme Judicial Court said same-sex couples had the same right as heterosexual couples to marry.

In the aftermath of that ruling, then-Gov. Mitt Romney used the 1913 law to bar city and town clerks from issuing marriage licenses to out-of-state couples. The law declared it illegal for couples to get married in Massachusetts if their unions would be illegal in their home states.

The House and Senate voted in June to repeal the law. Gov. Deval Patrick signed the repeal, saying it eliminated a law once used to ban interracial marriage.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/politics/view.bg?articleid=1115053

No comments: