By Gudrun Schultz
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, October 3, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Massachusetts’ Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly ruled in favor of granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples from Rhode Island, in a decision released Friday, Cybercast News Service reported yesterday.
That ruling will not change Rhode Island’s current prohibition against homosexual “marriage”, Rhode Island’s Attorney General said on Friday.
“This ruling does not authorize same-sex marriages in Rhode Island, and it does not mean that Rhode Island will recognize a same-sex marriage performed in Massachusetts,” Attorney General Patrick Lynch said in a statement.
“As I have consistently explained, only the Rhode Island legislature or a Rhode Island court can decide if a same-sex marriage is valid in Rhode Island.”
Judge Connolly’s decision stated that Rhode Island does not have a constitutional amendment, legislature or judicial ruling banning homosexual “marriage.”
“Upon consideration of the parties’ oral arguments and submitted memoranda, this court determines that same-sex marriage is not prohibited in Rhode Island.”
Judge Connolly rejected arguments by the Massachusetts attorney general’s office pointing to the use of gender-specific terms in Rhode Island law, including both “bride” and “groom”, as evidence of an intention to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has blocked out-of-state homosexual couples from marrying in Massachusetts by drawing on a 1913 state law that forbade granting marriage licenses to out-of-state couples when the marriages would not be recognized by the couples’ home state,
A 2004 lawsuit by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders challenged that law, seeking Massachusetts marriage licenses for same-sex couples from six New England states. While Massachusetts rejected couples from states where homosexual “marriage” would not be recognized, the decision by Judge Connolly ruled in favour of a Rhode Island couple represented in the case.
Homosexual activist organizations reacted to the Connolly ruling with enthusiasm, the Baptist Press reported, calling for greater efforts to convince the Rhode Island legislature to pass a “gay marriage” bill.
Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri, a Republican, opposes homosexual “marriage.” Michael Maynard, spokesman for Gov. Carcieri, told CNS, “This is basically the case of a Massachusetts court interpreting Rhode Island law, so at the end of the day, any interpretation of Rhode Island law made by a court in another state is meaningless.”
However, Matt Daniels, president of the pro-family organization Alliance for Marriage, told CNS Connolly’s decision would trigger renewed efforts by homosexual activist organizations.
“This is the latest step in a ten-year process to take the marriage issue out of the hands of the American people,” Daniels said.
“The forces behind the case have proved that their goals have not changed, which is to destroy marriage in this country against the will of the people through the courts. They are determined to use the courts to force this on our country.”
See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
Massachusetts Court Orders State to Allow Homosexual ‘Marriage’
Massachusetts Homosexual Activists Sue to Stop Marriage Amendment
Poll Reveals More than Two-thirds of Massachusetts Voters Want Vote on Marriage