BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts on Thursday began allowing any gay couple to get married there as Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill repealing a 1913 law that had blocked most out-of-state same-sex couples from tying the knot.

The old law barred couples from marrying in Massachusetts if their union would not be legal in their own states.

Patrick said the repeal shows that "equal means equal" in Massachusetts, where a 2003 ruling by the state's highest court made gay marriage legal a year later.

Supporters of repealing the measure said the old law had the taint of racism because it was passed 95 years ago as states tried to prevent interracial marriages. Opponents said it prevented Massachusetts from interfering with the decisions of other states — the overwhelming majority of which specifically bar same-sex marriage.