Testimony on An Act relative to the repeal or reform of certain unenforceable laws
Updated: Sep 27, 2019
Dear Chairs Cronin and Eldridge,
Thank you for allowing me to make the case for my bill, H.1532, An Act relative to the repeal or reform of certain unenforceable or unconstitutional archaic laws. These laws are anachronisms that we need to abolish. They are Christian-centric relics of a time that has since passed. In repealing antiquated laws from the Massachusetts General laws, we are merely setting the course.
We often see articles listing the more laughable laws that remain on the books (i.e. the fine-worthy and potentially jailable offense of scaring a pigeon) but blasphemy and fornication continue to be punishable acts by law, which remain as a testament to our puritanical past. Archaic laws are not harmless. In 2004, then-Governor Romney used a 1913 law declaring that nonresidents could not marry in Massachusetts if the marriage would be illegal in their home states to bar local officials from officiating at same-sex weddings of out-of-state couples.
By repealing and reforming a number of outdated laws, the legislature would not only be safeguarding the people of the Commonwealth from any potential unanticipated ramifications but making a clear statement that we have progressed since the days of yore. Having unenforced laws reduces the value and meaning of our other laws.
Thank you for your time, and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.
6th MIDDLESEX DISTRICT