“I have to follow the law. This is a nation of laws, even if I don’t like them.”
— a woeful Governor blow dry Romney over the recent court decision paving the way for Rhode Island couples to legally marry in Massachusetts

He’s trying to milk sympathy — and the fundie support for 2008 — fearing now that his state will become the “the Las Vegas of gay marriage”. (Boston.com):

The governor’s concession was made a day after Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly said he would not appeal the decision, despite a letter Romney had sent urging him to do so. The decision disappointed Romney as he looks to solidify his conservative credentials for a potential 2008 presidential run.

For the first time, the ruling makes it possible for gay couples from outside Massachusetts to come to the state and be granted marriage licenses. Issued Friday by Judge Thomas E. Connolly , the decision said Romney and Reilly cannot use a 1913 law to block Rhode Island couples from marrying in Massachusetts because Rhode Island’s laws do not explicitly ban gay marriage.

Romney yesterday reiterated his call for a similar amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution, which he hopes to place on the ballot in November 2008. “Let the citizens decide,” Romney said. `”And I’m confident that if the citizens decide it in the privacy of a voting booth, they’ll protect traditional marriage.”

…”Marriage is primarily about the development and nurturing of children, and every child deserves a mother and a father,” Romney said to more cheers and applause.

As Boo pointed out in the comments, it doesn’t mean that R.I. will automatically accept the marriages, but it will force its legislature to clarify the definition.

Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch released a statement saying, “This ruling does not authorize same-sex marriages in Rhode Island, and it does not mean that Rhode Island will recognize a same-sex marriage performed in Massachusetts. As I have consistently explained, only the Rhode Island Legislature or a Rhode Island court can decide if a same-sex marriage is valid in Rhode Island.”

…In the Rhode Island General Assembly, bills to legalize same-sex marriage have languished for years without a vote, and lawmakers are very divided over the issue, said Larry Berman, a spokesman for House Speaker William J. Murphy. The earliest lawmakers could act is January, he said, when the Assembly returns to session.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding