Massachusetts Gay "Marriage" Debate: All out-of-state Licenses to be Invalidated

“Let me make it very clear here: If there are violations of the law, the law will be enforced
( [email protected] ) May 22, 2004 08:42 AM EDT

The Massachusetts attorney general invalidated the dozens of out-of-state gay “marriage” licenses issued since Monday, and warned defiant clerks to halt the illegal sanctions on Friday, May 21, 2004.

“Let me make it very clear here: If there are violations of the law, the law will be enforced," Attorney General Thomas Reilly said.

Clerks in four counties – Provincetown, Somerville, Springfield and Worcester – have openly defied the Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s order to limit same-sex “marriage” licensing to couples in the state.

While the Springfield clerk William Metzger said Thursday he would stop issuing licenses, the officials in Provincetown, Somerville and Worcester did not immediately comment on whether they would abide by the law.

Pro-homosexual lobbyists were angered by Reilly’s call, saying that the governor and the attorney general are “conducting a witch hunt against gay couples.”

"It's infuriating that Reilly is enabling this bad behavior by Romney," said Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus

But Reilly clearly stated his intention to enforce the law, rather than recklessly interpret it on his own.

Until Friday, Reilly had said that only resident of the 39 states that have passed Defense of Marriage Acts would be forbidden from “Marrying” in Massachusetts. However, on Friday he said he agrees that the law bars all out of state unions. Additionally, he said all marriage licenses issued to out of state couple will be invalidated.

In terms of the defiant clerks, Reilly has several options: seek a court injunction ordering the clerks to stop, charge them with contempt or charge them with criminal violation. Neither Romney nor Reilly had announced what action they would take.