House votes overwhelmingly to repeal 1913 law! [update: with roll call]

( - promoted by Bob)

The vote was 118 119 to 35 36 (O’Flaherty added himself as a late “yes,” and Fresolo added himself as a late “no”).  Not a big surprise, but still excellent news: the House has joined the Senate in voting by a large majority to repeal the ghastly 1913 law.  Governor Patrick has said he will sign the repeal.  Once that happens, Massachusetts will have delivered to the fullest on its promise of true equality in the matter of marriage.

Three cheers!

UPDATE: the roll call is on the flip.

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55 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. YAY!

    This is great!

  2. Good stuff.

    Let the tourism dollars flow like wine.

  3. excellent.

    i am proud of the massachusetts legislature and all the residents who let them know that this was a vote for fairness.  and i look forward to hearing deval patrick's comments when he signs this bill.

  4. woot!

    I'm excited. It's great to see such a wide margin, too.

    Thanks goes out to the Speaker, the Senate, our elected leaders who supported equality and to the Governor, who will sign this repeal into law.

    More work to be done, but today was truly a great start.  

  5. Where can I find a list of who voted which way?

  6. was it rep jones

    was it rep jones that called for the roll call vote rather than a simple voice vote?  it was my understanding of the goings-on that he did that, and my guess is that it was in an attempt to intimidate legislators favoring the repeal, going on the assumption that people are afraid of not getting re-elected for voting yes, and so would vote "no" on a roll call.  if i'm correct, then the joke is on him.  and now we have a fantastic record of 77% of the House being pro-fairness and equality, and standing in opposition to the racist legacy of the 1913 law.  without the roll call, we wouldn't have known for sure just how HUGE a margin we won by.  so, thank you rep jones for helping us show the commonwealth just how fair-minded the legislature is!

    • i was wrong.

      jones voted yes, according to the roll call david just posted.  my apologies to rep jones on my sniping above.  he apparently has changed a lot in his views in the few years i've been away!

      • ...and should have done my homework

        "I am more inclined to vote for repeal than not," said House Minority Leader Brad Jones, R-North Reading, who represents a precinct of Middleton.

        Jones said it appears the law is a "vestige" of a time when a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1912 sought to ban interracial marriage. The historical record of why the law was passed is not clear, Jones said.

        Jones does not buy the argument that repealing the law would create a rash of litigation from couples who come here for quickie marriages.

        source from july 15th.

  7. The vote

     I would like to know who voted which way too please. Out of my personal beliefs, I'm not voting for them. Do we need a tourism buck that bad?

    • call your rep and senator

      ask them how they voted, then let us know.  their offices will be able to tell you in two shakes of a lambs tail.  i support your right to know, and your right to grant or withhold your vote from legislators based on their voting record.

    • Hmm ..

      Better it be tourists than more prospective new residents .... and to think, along with the allure of that pricy noise and polution comes a piece of paper worth absolutely zippo outside of ebay and the gawd forsaken commonwealth.

      • don't forget...'s good in California too! Oh, and 6 other countries.  

      • you don't get out much, do you?

        that piece of paper is priceless where it is recognized, which includes MA, CA (7th largest economy in the world), NY and entire countries such as Canada, The Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa and Spain.  In addition, it is recognized as at least a civil union in Great Britain and numerous states.

        • Don't forget Rhode Islanders can marry too!

          LOL, they just can't get divorced.

          • And NORWAY!

            I forgot Norway.  SSMs are recognized there too.

            • oh, and ARUBA and ISRAEL

              sheesh, the list just keeps growing - i can hardly keep up!  here's the whole list

              Legal recognition of same-sex relationships

            • Same-sex marriage Belgium Canada Netherlands Norway (2009-1-1) South Africa Spain

            • Recognized in some regions United States: (CA, MA)

            • Foreign marriages recognized Aruba Israel Netherlands Antilles United States: (NM, NY, RI)

            • Civil unions and registered partnerships Andorra Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Finland France Germany Hungary (2009-1-1) Iceland Luxembourg Netherlands New Zealand Slovenia Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom Uruguay

            • Recognized in some regions Argentina (C, VCP) Australia (TAS, SA, ACT, VIC eff. 2008-12-1) Brazil (RS) Canada (NS, QC) Mexico (Coah., DF) United States (CA, CT, DC, HI, ME, NH, NJ, OR, VT, WA)

  • Domestic Partnerships...

    I'm curious, Laurel, and thought you'd know better than I do: does California still even allow Domestic Partnerships? I actually don't think the concept, so long as it's in addition to marriage, is a bad idea. The reason I say that is I think any two people living together can get a DP (or am I wrong?). Basically, I think if any two people - friends, a couple, family, whatever - are living together in as friends/roomates, they should be able to enter into some sort of a compact where they could split health insurance and other things of the like, just as they would rent, the cable bill and groceries.  

    • Absolutely.

      Domestic partnerships are great, but only if they are available to everybody.  I always felt that it was discrimination against heterosexual couples (or roommates, or whomever), by only extending domestic partnership benefits to gays.  To me, that pressures couples who are living together to get married, and, well, some of them just don't want to get married.

      For once, we actually agree on something, and I was beginning to think that perhaps we could see eye-to-eye on more issues.  Of course, then you drop something about government needing to improve the lives of people.  Well, you can't win 'em all. ;-)

      • I couldn't agree more

        that heterosexuals are being discriminated against by not being allowed to get civil unions.  That civil unions are open to gays only is proof that they are a discriminatory institution.  I've often wondered why not one heterosexual couple has made a court case out of it.  Probably for the same reason no gay couple would choose civil unions over civil marriage: civil unions suck.  they don't tap into the federal rights, responsibilities and protections that come with civil marriage, and they aren't consistently respected (usually they're disrespected at the worst possible times, like in the emergency room).

    • they're still valid and available

      here's what the cali sec'y of state has to say

      The California Supreme Court decision issued on May 15, 2008, regarding same-sex marriages did not invalidate or change any of the Family Code statutes relating to registered domestic partners. Until a Notice of Termination is filed with our office, a registered domestic partnership will remain active on the California's Domestic Partnership Registry. This office will continue to process Declarations of Domestic Partnership, Notices of Termination of Domestic Partnership and other related filings as permitted by the domestic partnership law. If you have specific questions about how the Supreme Court's decision may apply to your circumstances, you should consult with a private attorney.

      What you and Gittle are talking about sounds more like the Netherlands model.  In The Netherlands you can choose one of several levels of relationship officialdom.

      ...couples wanting to formalize a relationship can choose between three options: civil marriage, registered partnership or a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement must be drafted by a notary, has legal consequences only for the parties who sign it and covers only those issues that the parties choose.

      In addition, The Netherlands is a signer on the "Hague Convention on the Law applicable to Matrimonial Property Regimes".  

      Article 6 of the Convention allows couples to select as the law governing their marriage the law of a country of which at least one of them is a national or a resident. In addition, in respect of real estate only, spouses can choose to apply the law of the country in which that real estate is situated...
  • You need to have the word MARRIAGE to sue the fed. gov't

    In order to sue for full faith and credit, and have a chance to win, you need to show that you have a MARRIAGE license, just like someone in another state has.

    Then you make the case that your MARRIAGE license is not being treated the same as the other person's from the other state.

    This will eventually be a court case which will go all the way to the Supreme Court, and I believe the court will ultimately rule in favor of equal treatment of all MARRIAGE licenses.

    • True, but the 1913 repeal wasn't needed for that.

      There were plenty of people from other states who married in Canada or beyond, or who married in MA then moved away.  The 1913 law wasn't keeping any future potential litigants penned up.

      • The law's repeal opens up such litigation to MANY MORE people.

        I agree with you, but now there will be MANY more people who can go home and get VERY PISSED OFF at their states. The more, the merrier. The more ticked off people, the more chance for litigation, and multiple litigation, for that matter.

        • One thing I like about exporting marriages to other states

          Apart from fairness, and providing current or potential rights to same sex couples who live elsewhere, is that it  also helps keep the right-wingers busy at home.  Let them be forced to spend their money and bile in fighting the recognition of Massachusetts marriages in their own states, rather than leaving them free to pour their dollars and hate into anti-marriage organizations here in Massachusetts.  

          • yes, in AZ and FL in particular

            i hope there is a flood of couples from AZ and FL marrying now in CA or soon in MA, then going home and letting their neighbors see just who will be affected by the discriminatory amendments on their november ballots.  everything changes when it's no longer theoretical, but when you're faced with stripping your friends, family or neighbors of their dignity and civil rights.

        • that's most likely true.

          let us just hope that no one gets too pissed off too soon and takes this to the u.s. supreme court before the u.s. supreme court has been re-energized with more fair-minded justices.

  • $quot;Do we need a tourism buck that bad?$quot;

    Nope, but we do need equality that badly.

    (The tourism dollar is nice icing on the cake however.)

  • Donato

    How did Rep. Donato vote???

  • Donato is a Yes

    Donato voted Y on No. 462. That is, to overturn the 1913.  

  • Thank you GLAD and MassEquality

    A lot of people worked hard to make this happen, but I'd especially like to thank the great people at Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders and MassEquality for keeping on the case.  Thank you, you awesome people!!

  • Patrick Natale didn't vote.

    Where was he today?

  • D or R?

    It took me a minute to figure it out, but FYI, the list is alphabetical in the following order: I. Dem leadership II. Dem rank and file III. GOP leadership IV. GOP rank and file

    So II starts with Aguiar, III starts with Jones, and IV starts with Barrows.

    By my hand count, Dems voted 114-22-3 and GOP voted 5-14.  Please feel free to correct any errors.  The Dem count includes O'Flaherty as a yea and Fresolo as a no.

  • Great news, congratulations!!!! And a big fat raspberry ...

    to that freakin "where's my $45 mill" Romney for enforcing this freakin law and Tom Riley for letting him.  Wonder why neither one is governor anymore.

    Expediency in the pursuit of justice is no ... whatever.

    More importantly, a very good day for ALL of us. Expanding anyone's rights expands our own.

  • Thank You Blue Mass Groupers

    Thanks, everyone, who weighed in with your legislators.  I know for a fact that it made a big difference.  One of my favorite quotes is from Frederick Douglass: "Power concedes nothing without a demand.  It never did and never will."  Thanks for demanding!  Now, as important, remember to thank (it makes it a lot easier to come back next time for the next thing you want).

    Onward for equality,


    Marc Solomon Executive Director MassEquality

  • how soon does the repeal go into effect?

    i just read here that the repeal doesn't go into effect until 90 days after gov patrich signs it.  is that true, and if so why the wait?  there was nothing in the wording of the bill to indicate a wait.

    • September Weddings

      Per the Globe:

      After the vote, Rushing said he hoped lawmakers or the governor would add an emergency preamble to the bill to speed its effect and allow for September weddings.
      • but that doesn't explain anything.

        at least, not to my satisfaction. why is there an apparent delay to begin with?  it's not like the state needs time to gear up for anything.  they already marry out of staters.  just mostly hetero ones.

        • There's a delay

          because they apply that rule evenly to all bills.  And for those that don't need it they have the emergency preamble option to have it take effect immediately which seems suitable for this situation as Rep. Byron Rushing has called for.

          The website has this to say about it (pretty much what we already knew):

          After the bill is signed by the governor, it becomes law, usually effective in ninety days. However, there may be an "emergency preamble" attached to some laws, making them effective immediately, as explained earlier.
    • Standard legislative procedure

      is that bills take effect 90 days after the Gov's signature, unless the legislature attaches an "emergency preamble" that requires the law to go into effect immediately.  That requires a separate vote.  Apparently they did not do so here.

      • has the window of opportunity passed

        to add the emergency preamble?

        thx for filling me in.

        • No it hasn't.

          That's why Rep. Byron Rushing was calling for one in the Boston Globe article.  I think more than likely it'll be Deval that adds one since it would be the quickest and easiest route.  We should probably call his office and let him know that we support the immediate effect of the repeal.

          • Wow, that's like election day

            If he signs it in the next couple days (why wouldn't he?) it'll be like a day or two before election day, Nov 4th.  If he waits a few days then it would be after the election.

            Of course, that's all assuming they don't do the emergency thing.  Does this qualify as an emergency?  What usually qualifies something to be an emergency?

  • Good old Scaccia- an unopposed $quot;legislator for life$quot; but just couldn't

    pass up the opportunity to be an a-hole. Hopefully someone will run against him someday.

  • Another victory for civil rights

    Thanks for all the kudos BMGers, they are appreciated here in the House. The Speaker was happy so many Democrats and Republicans joined him in helping repeal this outdated and unfair law. It's been a great session for civil rights ... not to mention energy reform, economic development, local aid to our cities and towns, increased funding for our schools ... Ok, I'll leave it there for now.

    But to answer the question, yes, general practice is a bill goes into effect 90 days after the Governor signs it into law, unless there is an emergency preamble on the bill.

    Thanks again for the support, we are happy to have gotten this repeal on the floor and off to the Governor's desk.

    All the best,

    David Guarino Communications Director for Speaker DiMasi

    • Thank You to the Speaker and Senate President

      The Speaker and the Senate President deserve a lot of credit for addressing this issue before the end of the legislative session.

      It is another important victory in an extremely productive legislation session, and highlights once again the important work being done by the legislature and Governor Patrick.

      Thanks to the leadership and the members of the Senate and the House for the work on this!

      • I agree with Doug

        For equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, there cannot be a stronger triumverate of elected leaders anywhere in the country than our Speaker, Senate President, and Governor.  All three decided it was time to get rid of this law, and exercised great leadership over the past month in making the repeal happen.

        We are extremely thankful.

        Marc Solomon

      • I can't wait, Doug!

        I'm so glad the Governor will be able to put his signature on this bill, the bill that completes marriage equality in Massachusetts. It just deserves to be him. He's been a great governor and absolutely fantastic on this issue. Don't let any of my minor disagreements over one or two issues with Governor Patrick ever convince you that I think otherwise. Without him, everything would be very different now (and much worse) - we'd still be fighting to protect marriage equality, likely in the form of a constitutional amendment. It's days like this that I'm reminded of why I live in Massachusetts and fight so hard for strong representation.  

    • Great job!

      Believe me, we really appreciate it.

      If there's a way, I'd consider the emergency preamble. I'm fine with waiting the 90 days (honestly, I am, it's pretty typical and there's a lot of other important stuff to get to over the last few days of this session), but that's August, September and then October. I'd much rather this become law in August than the end of October/early November. I doubt it would be a huge election issue, but it won't be one at all if people are marrying in August instead of November.

      Either way, though, this is a huge, huge victory and we'd be facing a ballot question right now, instead of where we are, if it weren't for your office and Speaker DiMasi and all our House allies. So give yourself a pat on the back and send my thanks to the Speaker. We really, really appreciate it!  

  • Awesome!

    Hurray for marriage. Massachusetts: the #1 family values state in the nation.

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