Mass. Judge Upholds Law Limiting Marriage

A Superior Court judge on Wednesday declined to halt enforcement of a 1913 state law barring out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts.

Eight same-sex couples from out of state -- including two from Rhode Island -- had asked Superior Court Judge Carol Ball for a preliminary injunction blocking the state from enforcing the law, arguing that it was discriminatory. It prohibits any marriages that would not be legal in the couple's home state.

On May 17, Massachusetts became the first state where same-sex marriages (search) are recognized. Gov. Mitt Romney (searchand Attorney General Thomas Reilly ruled, however, that the 1913 law prohibited out-of-state couples from taking advantage of that new right.

An attorney for the couples expressed disappointment Wednesday but said they would continue to push the case to a full hearing.

"This is a very, very hard day for us," Bobbi Cote-Whitacre, a plaintiff from Essex Junction, Vt., said in a prepared statement. "We know that some day this unfair disrespect of our family will end."

The Attorney General's office, which represented the Department of Public Health (search) in the suit, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.