Saturday, December 08, 2007

Rhode Island Gets It: Laws Are Passed by Legislatures Only

Rhode Island's high court has just ruled that a lesbian couple supposedly "married" in Massachusetts may not be granted a divorce in Rhode Island, because R.I. does not recognize the validity of their "marriage."

The only thing missing from this story is the recognition, by Alliance Defense Fund attorneys involved (and other "conservatives") that this "marriage" wasn't valid in Massachusetts either, for the same reason it wasn't valid in Rhode Island: THE LEGISLATURE NEVER CHANGED THE LAW to allow same-sex "marriage" here!

The majority on the R.I. Court, the R.I. Governor, and even the attorney for GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, who pushed "homosexual marriage" in Massachusetts), understood that only the R.I. legislature could change the law there.

So why is it any different in Massachusetts??? That's the question we've been asking for three years now. Our legislature NEVER changed our law, which clearly recognizes marriage as between a man and a woman. Why did the Alliance Defense Fund not point that out in this case? Could it have something to do with some of their members' support for Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who sneaked "homosexual marriage" through here without it ever being legalized?

See the Boston Globe, "R.I. won't let gay couple divorce" (12-8-07; emphasis added):

... The court concluded that a key 1961 Rhode Island law defines marriage as an legal union between a man and a woman, not same-sex couples. Unless and until the Legislature changes the wording, same-sex couples married in Massachusetts cannot get divorced in Rhode Island family courts, it said.

Cassandra Ormiston, who married Margaret Chambers in Fall River in 2004 after Massachusetts became the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriages, denounced the ruling, saying it discriminates against same-sex couples....

In a statement, Governor Donald L. Carcieri of Rhode Island and at least one group that opposes gay marriage praised the ruling. "I believe this is the appropriate result based on Rhode Island law," Carcieri said. "It has always been clear to me that Rhode Island law was designed to permit marriage, and therefore divorce, only between a man and a woman."

The lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian-based group, said the ruling affirms that marriage is between a man and woman and anything else is "counterfeit." "Not only is today's ruling a victory for marriage, it's also a tremendous step forward against judicial activism," Austin R. Nimocks, a lawyer for the Arizona group, said in a statement....

Karen Loewy, a staff lawyer with GLAD, which filed an amicus brief siding with the couple, said she was "incredibly distressed" for them. Short of persuading the Rhode Island General Assembly to legalize gay marriage, she said, the only certain way the couple can get a divorce is for one of the spouses to move to Massachusetts and establish legal residency....

The court's majority said the Legislature, not the courts, should change state law.