Town Clerks given one week to respond in gay marriage suit
By Rosemary Ruley Atkins
I&M Staff Writer
A Superior Court Judge has given the group of 13 town clerks, including Nantucket’s, who are suing the state over the gay marriage residency requirement, one week to respond to a 90-page brief filed by Attorney General Tom Reilly’s office.
According to attorney Kevin Batt of the Boston law firm Palmer & Dodge, who is representing the Town Clerks, the brief was submitted just 24 hours prior to the first hearing on the suit Tuesday. Batt says that the key issue in the clerks’ request for a preliminary injunction is whether the A.G.’s office can enforce a directive instructing the clerks not to grant marriage licenses to same sex couples who do not live in Massachusetts.
“One task in the preliminary injunction is to balance harms,” said Batt. “Who will be harmed more pending the outcome of the litigation? Even the governor has said that it doesn’t harm Massachusetts if out of state same sex couples get licenses.”
Batt expects that the judge in the case will issue her ruling in August. The suit names Attorney General Thomas Reilly, as well as the heads of the state’s the Department of Public Health and the state’s Registrar of Vital Records and Statistics.