Massachusetts Governor to Ban Gay Marriage for Out-of-staters

( [email protected] ) Apr 27, 2004 10:30 AM EDT

With gay marriage set to become legal in Massachusetts on May 17, pro-family groups are seeking legal ways to prevent the ruling from taking effect meanwhile gay rights groups are criticizing Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney following his decision to disallow gay couples from other states from marrying in his jurisdiction.

According to The Boston Globe, Eric Fehernsrom, spokesman for Gov. Romney told reporters “Because of current Massachusetts law, out-of-state couples are prohibited from marrying in Massachusetts if they cannot legally marry in their home state. … The governor feels an obligation to carry out the law as it exists.”

The governor, however, would allow couples from jurisdictions where gay marriage is legal to marry, such as the province of Ontario in Canada.

Gay rights groups have criticized Gov. Romney for his decision, calling the move unconstitutional. Meanwhile, pro-family groups are continuing their efforts to prevent the ruling from taking effect.

The American Center for Law and Justice is set to file a lawsuit on today on behalf of a group of state legislators who say the Massachusetts high court lacked jurisdiction to issue its controversial pro-same-sex “marriage” ruling last November.

The lawsuit will argue that the Governor and/or legislature should have decided the case under the Massachusetts Constitution. It will be the second legal action to have the ruling either halted or delayed. The first action was taken on April 20 by four pro-family groups that sought to have the ruling stayed until 2006 when voters would have the chance to vote on a constitutional marriage amendment.

Further details about the case will be announced later today. It is not yet known whether the case will be filed in federal or state court.