poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Marriage licenses will be issued to out-of-state gays
Cape Cod Times
April 13 - PROVINCETOWN - The town clerk will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples from other states next month, despite the attorney general's opinion that such a practice is illegal.

Provincetown officials say the state has failed to prepare towns adequately for the prospect of gay marriages beginning May 17. They argue that prohibiting out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying in Provincetown is yet another form of discrimination.

"We have received no guidance whatsoever from the state," said Provincetown town counsel John Giorgio. "Therefore, we wanted to make sure nothing was done to perpetuate discrimination."

Provincetown is the first Bay State community to say it will reject Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly's opinion of an obscure 1913 Massachusetts law. The 1913 law was originally written to block interracial marriages, but Reilly has said it would also prohibit couples who live outside of Massachusetts from being married here because their home states don't recognize same-sex marriages.

Romney warns clerks to heed old law / Network
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Monday that city and town clerks must enforce an obscure state law that would forbid them from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples who live in the 38 states where such unions are illegal.

The governor's comments followed reports suggesting that Provincetown clerks will not independently verify residence information of gay couples applying for marriage licenses, which could lead to an influx of out-of-town pairs looking to wed in the coastal resort town.

Same-sex couples will be allowed to marry in Massachusetts as of May 17. Clerks throughout the state are still waiting for clarification and training by the state Department of Public Health on new procedures for the licenses.

"We, in the administration, are taking every step to make sure we are in compliance with the law on May 17," Romney said, as reported by the Boston Herald. "Clerks have the responsibility to fulfill the oaths of office."


The Amazon Trail
I Do... Not!
by Lee Lynch
What if I don't want to get married? Well, of course, it's my choice. I don't have to marry my girl. But then again, I only have the one choice: I can either not marry her or - not marry her. What's wrong with this picture?

As it happens, neither of us is champing at the bit to hear wedding bells; we hear bells whenever we're together, it's that good between us. I have to confess that I feel that what we have is sacred, and I worry that formalizing it would expose it to the profane. When I tried to picture us standing in line in Portland, Oregon, with the religious zealots threatening divine wrath and the media filming us, I didn’t want to expose my girl to marriage at all. At the same time I was terribly excited about the opportunity and completely supportive of those women and men who thus publicly proclaimed their love.

What a big step. It seems very sudden to an old gay who remembers when we had to disguise ourselves - checking our walks, dressing like hets (for women this meant appealing to men) and deleting most references to our lives from conversations. In those days it was really special to recognize someone by her pinky ring or to find gay people to socialize with. Now, we're registering with government agencies, testifying on paper that we're gay and signing our names to make it official. Given that there are still people in this country who shudder when they think about us, I think that's pretty darn good.

Is this an efficient way to get on the list many gays still fear? We're so brave, so trusting, so eager for acceptance, so hungry to belong that we lined up by the thousands to sign on for whatever. I understand that impulse; part of me wanted to join the lineup because marriage is a language I understand. It's fine to know that my girl and I have a deeper, truer bond than any piece of paper can bestow, yet I am the marrying kind, a one-woman woman, a nice middle-class girl. The temptation to seriously propose is great. It's how I learned to express my love: by my parents' example as well as from the books I read and from the enthusiastic movies I watched.


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