Judge Rules Gay Couple Has Right to Marry In Massachusetts

A judge in Boston has ruled that gay couples from Rhode Island can marry in Massachusetts, because gay marriage is not explicitly prohibited by law in Rhode Island.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly came in the case of Wendy Becker and Mary Norton of Providence. They argued that a 1913 law that prohibits nonresidents from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would not be allowed in their home state should not apply to Rhode Island.

In his ruling, Connolly said no evidence was introduced — in the form of a constitutional amendment, statute or court decision — that (quote) "explicitly deems void or otherwise expressly forbids same-sex marriage."

The Massachusetts attorney general's office argued that Rhode Island statutes use gender-specific terms, including both "bride" and "groom," making it clear the intention was to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

There was no immediate word on whether the attorney general would appeal.