What better way exists to jump into year 2 than with a continuation of old themes? But maybe with a different twist…
Reading this article, I’m amused that the same-sex marriage debate continues in Massachusetts. I’m not surprised; it’s a contentious issue that will be with us for years. What amuses me is that there are supporters of the same-sex marriage movement who are so stupid as to be damaging to the cause.
Eight non-resident couples filed suit in a Massachusetts state court to block enforcement of a 1913 law that prohibits out-of-state couples from marrying if the marriage would violate their home state’s law. The judge upheld the law. Consider:
In a ruling handed down Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Carol Ball said the law is being applied equally to all nonresidents. For instance, it has been used to stop marriages of couples who didn’t meet their states’ age requirement for marriage.
“Clerks were instructed to do so for all couples and all impediments, not just for same-sex couples,” Ball wrote.
It’s no surprise to anyone that I think this law is ridiculous. Massachusetts wrote the law to prevent mixed-race marriage at the turn of the 20th century. (I believe I remember that correctly from my earlier research.) It’s now being enforced specifically to prevent same-sex marriages, which is abysmal social policy. However, it’s the law, it’s constitutional, and if it’s enforced against every couple affected, whether heterosexual or not, then there is no basis to the argument on a legal basis. More from the article:
Ball said Massachusetts has a rational reason to ensure that marriages it approves have validity in other states. However, she also said she sympathized with the plaintiffs and was “troubled” by the state’s decision to suddenly begin enforcing the 91-year-old law.
Marriage is a state issue and this law serves a legitimate state interest, so this legal challenge is misguided. Since these plaintiffs are ignoring the obvious tactic of allowing Massachusetts to absorb the “impact” of same-sex marriage as a reality, with the associated realization that its society will not crumble, I will do the same for my argument. The correct challenge to this law is to find a case or multiple cases where this law is not applied to heterosexual couples. For instance, if a couple is too young in their home state but Massachusetts marries them, then there is a real argument of discrimination, of unequal enforcement of the law. Even if the example the plaintiffs find is Massachusetts violating an obscure law in another state, it’s a better tactic than what they’re now using.
Or, they could move to Massachusetts.