Hadley Arkes, Professor of Jurisprudence, Amherst College, said that “the deeper failure must go to the man who stood as governor….and if it is countdown for marriage…it is also countdown for Mitt Romney, whose political demise may be measured along the scale of moves he could have taken… Robert Bork, who was somehow persuaded to endorse Romney, back in his more alert years described the Goodridge decision as being “completely untethered from the state and Federal constitutions and from the rule of law.”
Apparently excited by the new same-sex marriage “law” he created out of thin air, Governor Romney did not wait long to issue the one-day marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This is how the January 2, 2006 Boston Globe reported the story:
For 17 years, Massachusetts couples have asked friends, family and loved ones to solemnize their marriage under an obscure state law allowing the governor to grant one-day certificate to officiate a wedding. Since same-sex marriage became legal in May, 2004, Governor Mitt Romney has approve at least 189 requests from same-sex couples in 2005, along with about 1,040 applications for heterosexual couples. The one-day certificates, which cost $25, allow virtually anyone to legally solemnize a marriage anywhere in the commonwealth.
The Globe also reported that many of those receiving the special one-day marriage certificates were “family members and friends” of the governor. One of these friends receiving the one-day certificate, the Globe reported, was State Senator Jarrett Barrios. Barrios is a prominent gay activist who was, until recently, the leader of the National Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). This group harasses media outlets into portraying gays in a positive light, even if it means ignoring stories that show the gay lifestyle in a less than flattering way.
Barrios married Democrat political consultant Doug Hattaway and the two have adopted two boys. Here is an actual photograph of Barrios’s marriage certificate, as issued by Romney’s Department of Public Health:
Romney’s team has tried to downplay the special one-day marriage licenses. Romney spokesman Erich Fehrnstrom told the Globe that Romney, in light of the Goodridge same-sex decision, had no choice, legally, but to issue one-day marriage certificates to both heterosexual and homosexual couples.
But Brian Camenker of MassResistance, a leading pro-family group in Massachusetts that first broke this story in 2006, says that Fehrnstrom is “dead wrong.” Camenker said that,
First of all, even the Massachusetts Supreme Court made clear that only the legislature can legalize homosexual marriage and yet the legislature did not codified the Goodridge decision and still hasn’t done so to this day. In other words, homosexual marriage exists in Massachusetts today solely due to Romney’s unilateral action. Thus, every time Romney or his administration issued a marriage license – whether it was a special one-day permit or a normal wedding license — to a homosexual couple, he was violating the state constitution.
Indeed, on the campaign trail Romney claims to be a champion of traditional marriage and a proponent of separation of powers, so it stands to reason that he could have ignored the Goodridge decision and simply refused to issue any marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Such action would likely have resulted in litigation, but in the absence of any legislative action as called for by the Goodridge decision, there’s a good chance Governor Romney would have prevailed.