Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Jul. 31, 2008
Image for 1913 Marriage Bill

Gov. Patrick signs bill to repeal 1913 Marriage Law

MBA supports Senate Bill No. 800 allowing out-of-state same-sex couples to marry in Mass.

The Massachusetts Bar Association commends Gov. Deval Patrick for today signing Senate Bill No. 800 into law. The bill rescinds an early 20th century law banning same-sex couples from marrying in Massachusetts if the unions would not be legal in their own states. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate in earlier this month, and was passed by the House of Representatives on July 29.

The change takes effect immediately because the Legislature attached an emergency preamble to the bill, which waives the customary 90-day waiting period.

The MBA’s House of Delegates has long supported civil rights for all citizens, including marriage equality. “We applaud the executive and legislative branches of our state government for their leadership in rightfully abolishing a law that stripped civil liberties from same-sex couples,” MBA President David W. White Jr. said.

The MBA has a consistent record of considering and voting on issues presented by the state’s landmark Goodridge decision that legalized same-sex marriages in the commonwealth. In particular, the MBA voiced strong opposition to defining the term “marriage” as a legal contract between a man and a woman and prohibiting recognition of any other relationship as marriage or its legal equivalent.


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