by Rajashri on  August 1, 2008 at 2:46 PM Lifestyle News
 Massachusetts Becomes a Gay Wedding Destination
Gay couples from across the US can marry in the Massachusetts as the state opened its doors Thursday.

Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill with immediate effect allowing homosexual non-residents to tie the knot there, circumventing bans in their own states.

"Today, by repealing a nearly century old law, we affirm the right of same-sex couples from out-of-state to marry in Massachusetts, to enjoy all the protections of our good laws," Patrick said in comments provided by his press office.

Massachusetts in 2004 became the first US state to allow gay marriage, followed by California this year. Non-residents can also marry in California.

A spokeswoman for Patrick, the state's first black governor, said the now-repealed law against gays coming to marry in Massachusetts had originally been passed in 1913 to prevent inter-racial marriages.

Thousands of same-sex marriages have taken place since the ban within the state was lifted.

Massachusetts is among the most liberal-minded state in the United States, although there are opponents to the changes, notably Mitt Romney, a former governor and a failed contender to become the Republican party's presidential candidate.

Patrick acknowledged that the measure was "still troubling for some of our fellow citizens."

However, "the sky has not fallen and the earth has not opened to swallow us up," he said.

Source: AFP
RAS/M

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