Gay couples from New Mexico can marry in Massachusetts because their home state has not explicitly banned same-sex marriage, according to Massachusetts records officials.
New Mexico joins Rhode Island as the only states whose gay residents are allowed to marry in Massachusetts, the only state that allows same-sex marriage.
In a July 18 notice, city and town clerks were instructed by Stanley Nyberg, Massachusetts’ Registrar of Vital Records, to give marriage licenses to gay couples from New Mexico.
Massachusetts began marrying same-sex couples in 2004. Gov. Mitt Romney then prohibited out-of-state couples from marrying in the state, citing a 1913 law that bars Massachusetts from marrying couples who would be prevented from marrying in their home states.
This is good news for gays in New Mexico, but they still aren't totally in the clear:
New Mexico hasn’t outlawed same-sex marriage, but it hasn’t endorsed it either. Nor have lawmakers approved domestic partnership legislation, despite prodding from Gov. Bill Richardson.
But those who decide to marry in Massachusetts or elsewhere must be prepared to live with uncertainty, advocates of gay marriage cautioned Thursday.
Those marriages “will be respected to varying degrees,” warned Equality New Mexico. The group said the state, businesses and others may join the federal government in refusing to recognize the unions.
Will Governor Richardson stay true to his Youtube debate rhetoric and recognize the marriages of his gay constituents performed in Massachusetts? If he can't even take this small step (which I'd say Massachusetts has rightly foisted upon him), gays surely cannot trust him to 'achieve' his promises of civil unions, domestic partnerships, hate crimes legislation, and a repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.