August 2008 Archives

August 11, 2008

Same-Sex Couples from Out of State Can Marry in Massachusetts

With very little fanfare and somewhat under the radar, the Massachusetts legislature voted at the end of July to repeal a 1913 law that prohibited non-residents from marrying in the state if their own state wouldn't allow the marriage. Governor Deval Patrick (whose daughter publicly came out of the closet in June) signed the law, which was effective immediately upon signing -- so now same-sex couples from out of state may marry in the Bay State.

California and Connecticut, the only other states with legal same-sex marriage, also allow out-of-state couples to marry (or at least, Connecticut will when people start getting married later this month).

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This sounds good, right? But be careful! If you live in a state that doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, getting married in California or Massachusetts may mean problems for you later. If your relationship ends, the courts in your state may not grant you a divorce. That would mean you'd have to either stay married to your partner, or get a divorce in the state where you married. But while California and Massachusetts don't require that you be a resident in order to get married there, they do require residency before you can get divorced -- you must live in California for six months, and in Massachusetts for a year, before you can file for divorce there.

On the other hand, the good news is that if you previously got married in Massachusetts or Canada, your marriage will now be recognized in California and Connecticut -- and if you want to (and you're a resident), you can even get divorced there.

August 7, 2008

On Our Way to Harvey Milk Day

On August 5, the California State Senate approved legislation that would designate May 22nd "Harvey Milk Day" in California. The vote was 22-13, and split directly on party lines (surprise, surprise). The bill now returns to the assembly briefly and then proceeds to Governor Schwarzenneger's office for signature.

If approved, the new law would make the late San Francisco supervisor's birthday a "day of significance," not a state holiday, and its purpose would be to encourage schools to include curriculum on that day that would commemorate and honor Milk's contributions to San Francisco and the LGBT community.

Harvey Milk was one of the first openly gay elected political officials in the nation when he became a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Barely a year later, in 1978, he and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by former fellow Supervisor Dan White. His death was a tragedy and he was a true hero of the LGBT movement -- certainly worthy of the state's acknowledgment.

And, if you want to see Hollywood's version of Harvey Milk's life and times, Gus Van Sant's "Milk" sees its national theatrical release on December 5th, starring Sean Penn as the man himself.

August 7, 2008

Moose Marriage? What's Next?

The right likes to say that same-sex marriage demeans the institution. I wonder what they think about the recent mock wedding of Joe the Moose and his bride, Ana Moose (nee Lope) in Anamoose, North Dakota. Both the bride and groom cross-dressed, as did the bridesmaid. And don't forget the cross-species nature of the event! I guess it just goes to show that once same-sex marriage is allowed, anything goes.