May 10 - 2004: Provincetown defies Mitt Romney on same-sex marriage

2012: President Barack Obama says he supports same-sex marriage
A week before same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts, Provincetown voted to issue marriage licenses to out-of-state same-sex couples

2004: Town set to defy governor on same-sex marriage issue

Ironic coincidence as President Obama supports it on this anniversary in 2012 (see below)

On this day in 2004, one week before same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts, Provincetown voted to issue marriage licenses to out-of-state same-sex couples even if they have no intention of moving to Massachusetts. The move contradicts a directive by Gov. Mitt Romney, who has said that no same-sex couples residing out of state would be allowed to marry here.

Romney invokes 1913 law to stop out of staters from marrying here

Mr. Romney, who opposes same-sex marriage, has invoked a 1913 law that says that the state will not marry couples if their marriage would be "void" in their home state. The governor has interpreted that to mean that since no other state performs same-sex marriages, only Massachusetts same-sex couples are eligible to marry here.

Couples applying for marriage licenses in Massachusetts are required to fill out a form asking where they reside and where they intend to reside, and to sign it under penalty of perjury. Town and city clerks have been instructed by the governor's office to issue licenses to out-of-state same-sex couples if they intend to move to the state, but not those who plan to return to their home states.

But the board of selectmen in Provincetown, a town with a large gay population, voted unanimously to issue the licenses even if the applicants declare on the form that they do not intend to live in Massachusetts. The new policy reads: "The town clerk may issue marriage licenses to any persons - whether residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, non-commonwealth residents that intend to reside in Massachusetts, or non-commonwealth residents that do not intend to reside in Massachusetts." The couples must sign the form, attesting that they have been truthful on their application and that they know of no "legal impediment" to their marriage.

"To start to say yes to certain couples but not others doesn't make sense," said the Provincetown town clerk, Douglas Johnstone... New York Times.

2012: Ironic coincidence as President Obama supports same-sex marriage on this anniversary

The New York Times reported on this day in 2012 that President Barack Obama sat down in the White House with ABC’s Robin Roberts and made news, after nearly two years of saying that his views on same-sex marriage were “evolving.” The President of the United States said,

“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."

Read the Sunday New York Times Magazine article about "Gay Marriage in Massachusetts" four years later here.


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