Coming Out of Left Field

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Yay?

Yesterday, Massachusetts city and town clerks attended presentations on the new marriage application forms. In contrast to recent statements by Romney and his officials, the Globe now reports (Gay marriage rule eased) that clerks have the option not to demand proof of residency when granting licenses:

"'We've suggested to the clerks that the law allows them to ask for documentation,' [Romney's general counsel Daniel B.] Winslow said ... But, he added, they are 'not required to look behind a person's oath.'"

GLAD's preliminary comments, however, warn that "The State still intends to slam the door in the face of out-of-state same-sex couples." Although clerks won't be punished for not asking about residency, they will still be expected to deny licenses to those who are clearly from another state.

I'm torn here. For many, caution is probably the safest course; May 17 is less than two weeks away, and things are still up in the air. Since it's up to the clerks to decide what fulfills the requirement, it's be tough, practically and emotionally, to put all your energies into wedding planning only to find that you can't get past the legal obstacles. I'm feeling apprehensive myself, and I *live* here.

And there's the less cautious side of me which pays attention to the rights of the matter, not the realities. It says, "Some laws are made to be broken. The 1913 law is one of them. Come on down."

Which approach is better? I don't know. That's for each couple to decide. But whichever it is, don't choose out of fear. As one of my favorite films says, "A life lived in fear is a life half-lived."

Technorati: , LGBT, marriage equality, Massachusetts

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