Under pressure from Gov. Mitt Romney (search), Provincetown (search) officials backed down Wednesday and said they will stop issuing marriage licenses to out-of-state gay couples.

Provincetown, a gay tourist spot on Cape Cod, was one of four communities that openly defied Romney's order not to let nonresident gay couples wed when same-sex marriage (search) became legal in Massachusetts on May 17.

Romney said such marriages are forbidden under a 1913 state law that bars all unions that would not be legal in a couple's home state. The Republican also threatened unspecified legal action against clerks who violate his instructions.

On the governor's instructions, Democratic Attorney General Thomas Reilly issued a cease-and-desist order to clerks in Provincetown, Somerville, Springfield and Worcester last week.

Provincetown was the last to stop issuing licenses to nonresidents.

"We firmly believe that it is unlawful and unconstitutional to deny out-of-state same-sex couples the right to marry in Massachusetts," said Provincetown Board of Selectmen Chairman Cheryl Andrews, who married her longtime partner last week.

Provincetown issued 217 gay marriage licenses last week, 14 to out-of-state couples who do not intend to move to Massachusetts.