Rhode Island Lesbians Want Their Massachusetts Marriage

Norton & Becker

Yesterday, two lesbians had their day in court. Arguing in front of a Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly, Wendy Becker and Mary Norton made their case on why they should be allowed to marry in the state even though they are Rhode Island residents.

At hand is a “rarely enforced” 1913 Massachusetts law that bars couples from getting married in Massachusetts if their home state prohibits them from getting married. Becker and Norton argue Rhode Island’s statutes not expressly ban gay marriage. Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General Peter Sacks, meanwhile, pointed to Rhode Island’s marriage laws, which establish a union as the joining together of a “male party” and a “female party.”

Judge Connolly’s decision isn’t expected for a few weeks. Becker and Norton have been together for 18 years (and have two children together); waiting for the decision might feel like 18 more.

Gay pair asking to be wed in Mass. say no ban in R.I. [Boston Globe]

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #marriage #marynorton #massachusetts stories and more

One Comment

  • Jonathon

    I applaud these two ladies for fighting against the ridiculous and “rarely enforced” 1913 law and for their right to marry in Massachusetts. I also applaud the author of the article in the Boston Globe for mentioning the fact that the couple has been together for 18 years and has two small children together.

    Middle America needs to hear stories such as these in order to start putting a human face on the “gay” label. They need to hear how we have long-term relationships and families DESPITE the unconstitutional limits placed on our human and civil rights. I can imagine that some people would read this story and think, “Wow, they’ve been together for 18 years? That’s longer than my own marriage lasted,” (or something to that effect).

    We should also put forth the question as to why it is in the interest of the state to prevent these women (and the millions of other gay/lesbian couples) from having a legally-recognized (and protected) marriage. I can find no compelling argument for such treatment that is not grounded in a fundamentalist interpretation of scriptures. We need to call our opponents out and force them to explain their positions with more detail. It is not enough to simply opine that gay marriage will harm straight marriage! Where’s the proof?

    Again, kudos to these ladies for taking on the law and for standing up for the rights of all gay and lesbian Americans. I sincerely hope that Massachusetts grants them a marriage license and that the doors become open for more and more couples to marry.

Comments are closed.