State Court Establishes Right to Same-Sex Marriage in Massachusetts
In the case of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, decided on this day, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state could not deny the “protections, benefits and obligations of marriage to people because they were of the same sex.” On May 17, 2004. the state began to issue marriage certificates.
The political and legal climate regarding same-sex marriages changed dramatically in the 2000s, as an increasing number of states legalized same-sex marriages and federal courts began declaring unconstitutional state prohibitions on such marriages.
The Supreme Court declared a major provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional on June 26, 2013 in the case of Windsor v. United States, ruling that the federal government had to recognize legal same sex marriages. In the year following the Windsor decision, a number of federal courts declared state prohibitions of same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional, and another major Supreme Court case on this issue seemed inevitable.
On June 26, 2015, in Obergefell v. Hudson, the Supreme Court declared that same-sex marriage was constitutional in the entire United States under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Learn more about the freedom to marry: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/
Read about the history of the GLBT revolution: Lillian Faderman, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle (2015)