No, it's not a multiple wedding. Just one.
Current law: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ordered legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry by May 17, 2004.
Legislation: State constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages but establishing civil unions gained preliminary approval March 29 during the state Constitutional Convention. The measure must be approved in identical form during the next legislative session in 2005 before going to a statewide vote in 2006. Three bills introduced to permit same-sex couples to marry but are not likely to come to a vote (HB 3556, HB 3677, SB 935). A citizen initiated petition drive is under way to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, but 2008 is the soonest it could come to a statewide vote.
Source: Kavan Peterson, "50-state rundown on gay marriage laws," Stateline.org, May 13, 2004; Kavan Peterson, "Massachusetts one step closer to gay marriage ban," Id., April 1, 2004.
roblem is there is no law in place providing for same-sex "marriages" in Massachusetts (or in any other state). So anywhere they take place they'll be performed outside the rule of law. The Massachusetts constitution
does provide, however, that "the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men." That's under its Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
By allowing the judicial branch of Massachusetts' government to exercise any law-making power, the people's rights are directly violated. Moreover, since no state may "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" (Fourteenth Amendment, U.S. Constitution), the judicial branch's ordering state executive officers to perform acts not provided for or even recognized under current laws denies all Massachusetts citizens the equal protection of those laws.
Tomorrow, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's November 18, 2003 order requiring state officials to approve same-sex "marriages" takes effect. The delay was "to permit the Legislature to take such action as it may deem appropriate in light of this opinion." (See also its February 3, 2004 advisory opinion.)
However, the legislature has taken no action other than passing a proposed constitutional amendment which must be passed again next year before it can be submitted to voters. There are no new marriage laws specially providing for the court's "reformulation" of marriage as "the voluntary union of two persons [instead of 'one man and one woman'] as spouses." Without such laws passed by the legislature, there is no legitimate authority in Massachusetts under which same-sex "marriages" may be allowed.
No matter. Liberals aren't interested anyway in whether there's a law actually allowing or prohibiting something. As long as a liberal court somewhere has "so ordered" it, that trumps any law passed by the representatives of us mere peasants.
Welcome to your brave new world, Massachusetts. As the brides and grooms of that Frankenstein monster known as same-sex "marriage" are let loose on your countryside, you can always gather up your torches and pitchforks and shout nasty things at the castle of your Supreme Judicial Court. Not that it'll do you any good before any of their 70th birthdays.
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