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Same-sex marriage FAQ

Same-sex marriage FAQ

To provide same-sex couples with general information regarding the process of gay marriage, the Associated Press gathered some frequently asked questions for those planning to wed in Massachusetts. These helpful questions and answers should provide clarification for those lost in the excitement of their matrimonial jitters. Q: When will gay couples be allowed to marry? A: City and town clerks will be allowed to begin accepting "Notice of Intention of Marriage" forms from gay couples on Monday. Gay couples must receive a court waiver if they intend to marry immediately because of the state's customary three-day waiting period. Q. How does the waiting-period waiver process work? A: After filing a "Notice of Intention of Marriage" form, a couple would obtain a waiver from a judge at a probate or district court. With the waiver, the couple can immediately obtain the marriage license at the city or town clerk's office where the "Notice of Intention of Marriage" form was filed without waiting the customary three days. Q: Which gay couples will be allowed to marry? A: In-state couples, couples that include at least one Massachusetts resident, and out-of-state couples who have an immediate intention to live in Massachusetts. Q: Are there separate forms for same-sex and opposite-sex couples? A: No. City and town clerks should use the same forms for all couples. Q: Can someone who entered a civil union or domestic partnership in another state be married in Massachusetts to another person? A: Domestic partnerships and civil unions are not legal impediments to marriage in Massachusetts if the couple otherwise meets the requirements. Q: Does a clerk need to see written proof of residence or intent to reside in Massachusetts before issuing a license? A: The law states that a clerk may be satisfied of the residency either by written documentation, such as a phone bill or driver's license, or through a sworn affidavit of the applicants. Q: If a person does not have to be a resident of Massachusetts to get married here, why should clerks ask for residence and intended residence? A: State law says couples cannot be married in Massachusetts if such a marriage would be void in the state in which they live. No other state currently recognizes gay marriages.

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