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Friday, May 21, 2004

Romney's Latest Obstruction

Now Mitt Romney is calling on Attorney General Tom Reilly to take action to stop the granting of marriage licenses to out-of-state same-sex couples. The obvious arguments against this are that it's discriminatory enforcement since heterosexual couples aren't questioned and that the law is a relic of a now-repudiated anti-miscegenation doctrine. The governor's people like to say Romney has to enforce all of the laws on the books, even though there are numerous silly laws that are ignored.

Beyond all of that, though, I think there's an inconsistency here in the regard given to the law-making process. When Romney filed a bill seeking a stay last month, the idea was to "preserve the right of the citizens to make this decision rather than having it made for them by the Court." He wanted a delay until a potential 2006 referendum on a Constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages. Now this week, we have had the State Senate vote overwhelmingly to overturn the very 1913 statute that Romney is pressing as a means to stop some couples from marrying. Though it's unlikely the House will take that up soon, I imagine they will at some point. Shouldn't the governor wait to see whether the people's representatives want to do away with the 1913 law entirely before he goes out calling for its enforcement? Wouldn't that be the course more consistent with the logic he used in asking for the stay of the original Goodridge decision? I would love to see the House follow suit with the Senate, leaving the governor in a very difficult spot on whether to use a veto.