BOSTON — Although former Gov. Mitt Romney ordered town clerks to issue “marriage” liscenses to same-sex couples in Massachusetts, the law prohibited out-of-staters from participating.
Now, activists have found a loophole.
In 2006, the state Supreme Judicial Court ruled that unless a state expressly prohibits same-sex “marriages,” Massachusetts can issue licenses to such couples.
In July, Massachusetts Registrar of Vital Records and Statistics Stanley Nyberg advised city and town clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples from New Mexico. Nyberg’s office is under the state Department of Public Health, whose commissioner, John Auerbach, is “married” to his male friend.
“New Mexico’s laws do not prohibit marriage between parties of the same gender,” Nyberg wrote in his memorandum, which came in response to questions from Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).
New Mexico is just the beginning. Homosexual activists plan to vigorously exploit that loophole, said Michael Glatze.
Glatze is the co-founder of Young Gay America magazine and was frequently quoted as an advocate of the homosexual lifestyle until he denounced the lifestyle this summer.
Now he warns that a concerted effort is underway to breach the boundaries of other states via the courts.
“There is a very good likelihood of every possible maneuver being used to embed ‘acceptable’ homosexuality into every last fiber of our society,” he said in an interview from his San Francisco home. “If we don’t stand firm on this issue, we may as well give up all claims to being Christian.”
GLAD spokeswoman Carisa Cunningham said her group agreed that her organization is looking to expand the impact of a “marriage equality” case it won involving a couple from Rhode Island, the only other state without a law or amendment.
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders has online publications advising same-sex couples how to “marry” in Massachusetts.
“We really can’t tell what will happen in New Mexico,” Cunningham said of the Massachusetts ruling.
“Of course their goal is to have ‘gay marriage’ here,” said Allen Sanchez, New Mexico Catholic Conference’s director. The conference and the Washington-based Alliance for Marriage were the only two groups that testified in February for a state marriage-protection amendment, which ultimately failed.
“It was a lonely moment,” said Alliance for Marriage’s President Matt Daniels. “Our opponents accused us of being hateful; they said there was no threat to marriage in New Mexico. Well, they hid the knife.
“The reason we drafted the federal Marriage Protection Amendment is that fundamentally, the battle is going to end in some kind of national solution. We won’t have a society with radically different definitions of marriage; there will be one definition. This is the smoking gun.”
And, Glatze warned, “Since a lot of the courts are steeped in ‘separation of church and state’ dogma, and have ACLU lawyers ready to do absolutely everything, without scruples, it seems clear that it’s possible for the radical ‘gay’ agenda to entirely overpower all courts in this land.
“Ultimately, it’s the church who is going to have to stand firm on this issue or else it’s over,” he said. “The church needs to be aware just how easily its freedoms can be taken away from it by these people using the law.
“Remember, because gay is a lie, it has to completely annihilate the truth that reminds it that it’s a lie. They will stop at nothing and will not end their fight until all mention of homosexuality being wrong is completely eradicated from all public life. They will go so far as to outlaw the reading of portions of the Bible.”
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of the offspring” (1601). The Catechism goes on to state, “the vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes” (1603).
In March, Pope Benedict XVI said Catholic politicians must support marriage with their votes.
“These values are not negotiable,” he said, listing: “human life, its defense from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms.”
“Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature. There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist. Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them.”
Ray Flynn, former Boston mayor and former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, urged Catholics to heed warnings like Glatze’s and “stop being afraid of our own shadow.” Flynn heads Catholic Citizenship, which encourages laypeople to be politically active.
Flynn said he was not surprised that ripples are now spreading since the Massachusetts Legislature caved in to Democratic leadership pressure and squashed a marriage amendment June 14. That measure would have let voters define marriage as a heterosexual union, a right they were deprived of following a 2003 ruling by the Supreme Judicial Court.
The Massachusetts amendment failed because those who want to redefine marriage worked harder than those who don’t, according to Flynn and Bay State activists like Phil Paleologos of New Bedford, who organized busloads of voters to lobby legislators.
“A lot of people believed in our point of view,” Paleologos said, “But not enough came out. They didn’t want to start arguments with their neighbors; they didn’t want to start arguments at work.”
“Catholics are the largest and most important voting bloc in America,” Flynn said. “We need to get out and work in the political arena from the school committee level to Congress to fight for our values, and to elect people who will respect them.”
Daniels said the majority of people want marriage protected by law for the sake of their children and grandchildren. “It’s common sense,” he said.
Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisc., sounded a hopeful note during a July forum at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va. He urged Catholics to have the energy and courage to speak out in defense of marriage “no matter how tough it gets,” the Catholic Herald of Arlington, Va., reported.
“In the end this battle has to be won because Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and his will and his call are irrevocable,” Bishop Morlino said. “In the end we are guaranteed victory. People who play knowing there is victory in the end can never wind up losers.”
Gail Besse writes from