MA Supreme Court to Hear another Same-Sex Marriage Case

February 24, 2005 ( - The Bay State's top court - which earlier ruled that same-sex couples could not be denied the right to marry in the state - has agreed to hear a case that challenges a 1913 law that bars out-of-state couples from getting married there.

>According to the Associated Press (AP), the Massachusetts Supreme Court has agreed to take on the case filed by eight out-of-state gay couples and 13 Clerks who want to see the law overruled. If the court – which already allowed same-sex couples to marry – overturns the law, confusion and consternation are sure to follow because of possible conflicts with the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

>In August, a Superior Court upheld the law, asserting that the law did not discriminate because it applied to both same-sex and straight couples. The plaintiffs then asked the state appeals court to hear the case, but the Supreme Judicial Court for the state decided instead to take on the case itself. Oral arguments are set to begin in September, according to the AP.

“We’re optimistic about our chances because the court has already decided the commonwealth can’t deny marriage rights to gays and lesbians,” said Michele Granda, an attorney for the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, which represents the eight couples, according to the AP.

>State attorneys have argued that the law protects other states’ rights to define the meaning of marriage as they like, according to the AP.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court last February said that same-sex couples should have the right to marry (See Massachusetts Court Says Gays Entitled to Marry ).