Same Sex Marriage

Massachusetts was the first state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004. Since then, marriage laws have varied state-by-state. Some states prohibit gay marriage; others allow it; and yet a few have settled for domestic partnerships or civil union laws as compromise.

However, recently the issue of who can and can't get married in Massachusetts has become even more complicated. Since Massachusetts allows same-sex marriage, can a person from another state get married there and have it recognized by their home state? What about bi-national couples immigrating the the U.S.?

Here are some key points about Massachusetts gay marriages that can help clarify the issue:

* With the repeal of Bill 1913, which prohibited out of state residents from marrying in Massachusetts, both same-sex couples that reside in Massachusetts and out-of-state couples can legally marry in the State of Massachusetts.

* Marriage licenses issued in Massachusetts are only recognized in the State of Massachusetts unless the state in which the couple resides also recognizes has legal gay marriage (such as California) or the state recognizes the out-of-state gay marriages of their residents. An example would be New York.

* Since same-sex marriage is prohibited on the federal level, the marriage of couples in Massachusetts or any other state will only be recognized on the state level and will not be eligible for federal level marriage benefits, such as joint tax filing.

Now that same-sex marriage is legal in the State of Massachusetts, gay couples (residents or non residents) can apply for a marriage license. Here are the steps you need to take before getting married in Massachusetts:

1. You and your partner must both jointly apply for a marriage license with the clerk in any community within Massachusetts. You must get married within 60 days of obtaining a license. Keep in mind that the license is only valid within the State of Massachusetts.

2. Pay the marriage application fee. Fees range from $4 to $15 depending the community in which you file.

3. Effective 28 January, 2005 blood tests/medical certificates are no longer required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

4. Bring your birth certificates. You and your partner must be at least 18 years old.

5. After you file your application, wait the mandatory 3 days before picking up your license.

6. If you or your partner have ever been divorced, you must show your divorce certificate. There are no requirements for widows or widowers.

7. You do not need a witness at the ceremony, but make sure you observe you and your partners religious tenets.

8. You can get more information by visiting the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics.

                                                                                                                                                                  (reprinted 2010)

I will as a Justice of the Peace, Officiate, Solemnize, and declare legally married anyone, anywhere in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as per my duties.
I am an American, and I believe my duty as an American is to preserve freedom.
I believe that all love is good, that any feeling of affection that is agreed to by both beings is good, that life is meant to be lived free and without restraints that only please the opinions of others. 
I believe in live and let live, and do unto others as you would have done to you,
I believe in the value of a being as an individual, and rejoice in their joy as a couple.
I will as a Justice of the Peace, Officiate, Solemnize, and declare legally married anyone, anywhere in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as per my duties.
I am an American, and I believe my duty as an American is to preserve freedom.
I believe that all love is good, that any feeling of affection that is agreed to by both beings is good, that life is meant to be lived free and without restraints that only please the opinions of others. 
I believe in live and let live, and do unto others as you would have done to you,
I believe in the value of a being as an individual, and rejoice in their joy as a couple.
I will as a Justice of the Peace, Officiate, Solemnize, and declare legally married anyone, anywhere in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as per my duties.
I am an American, and I believe my duty as an American is to preserve freedom.
I believe that all love is good, that any feeling of affection that is agreed to by both beings is good, that life is meant to be lived free and without restraints that only please the opinions of others. 
I believe in live and let live, and do unto others as you would have done to you,
I believe in the value of a being as an individual, and rejoice in their joy as a couple.
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Rick Burtt JP 2011

I will as a Justice of the Peace, Officiate, Solemnize, and declare legally married anyone, anywhere in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as per my duties.

I am an American, and I believe my duty as an American is to preserve freedom.

I believe that all love is good, that any feeling of affection that is agreed to by both beings is good, that life is meant to be lived free and without restraints that only please the opinions of others,  and that morality is a compass centered in each of us.

I believe in live and let live, and do unto others as you would have done to you,

I believe in the value of a being as an individual, and rejoice in their joy as a couple.

I am available to pronounce any couple married as per my duty  as a Justice.

Rick Burtt

Please contact me with any other questions

      Jen and Tina - Married October 30, 2010
“Yes we are a very happy couple.  The wedding was perfect!”
Thanks, Tina and Jen

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Dave and Tom - Married November 12, 2011

Thank you for officiating our wedding!  We were both so pleased with the service.

Dave and Tom