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Repeal would let out-of-state gays marry in Mass.

Associated Press | 7/16/2008, 6:18 a.m.

Romney, then eyeing a run for president, ordered city and town clerks to enforce the statute, although some town clerks balked.

Eight gay couples from surrounding states challenged the law in court and in 2006 the same court that allowed gay marriage refused to toss out the 1913 law.

Until the California ruling, gay marriage remained an option available almost exclusively to same-sex couples living in Massachusetts. About 11,000 same sex couples have tied the knot.

Not all out-of-state couples have been barred from marrying in Massachusetts.

In 2006, a Massachusetts judge ruled there was nothing in Rhode Island law banning same sex marriage, even though the Rhode Island Legislature hasn’t legalized gay marriage.

The loophole has allowed nearly a hundred gay couples from Rhode Island to make the short trip across the border to marry.

Despite the introduction of gay marriage in Massachusetts and California, most other states have statutes or constitutional amendments specifying that marriage is between a man and a woman, and denying recognition to same-sex unions.

The federal government also doesn’t recognize such unions.

If Massachusetts lifts its ban and couples from other states rush to get married here, it’s unclear what weight those marriage certificates would carry once they return home.

(Associated Press)