poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Clerks could be prosecuted for issuing licenses to out-of-state couples
Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's top legal adviser said Tuesday that if local clerks issue marriage licenses to out-of-state gay couples, the licenses would be void and the clerks could face legal consequences. Clerks will be required to seek proof of residency or the intention to move to Massachusetts from all couples--gay and straight--who are seeking to marry as of May 17, when same-sex weddings become legal, attorney Daniel Winslow said Tuesday before the state's first training session for city and town clerks.

The consequences of an illegal marriage could be severe for the couple, particularly if they have children, because of legal questions of support and custody, Winslow said. There also would be legal consequences for the clerks themselves, though Winslow declined to say what those could be. "What conscientious clerk ever would issue a license in violation of Massachusetts law when the consequences and ramifications to children and innocent parties would be so great?" Winslow said in an interview with the Associated Press. "I simply can't see that any clerk would do that."


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