2004 May 17

Same-Sex Marriages Begin in Massachusetts

 

Same-sex marriages became legal in Massachusetts on this day as a result of the landmark state case, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, decided November 18, 2003. Compliance with the law was ordered by Governor Mitt Romney, who ran for President of the United States in 2012 as the candidate of the Republican Party, which strongly opposed same-sex marriage.

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 at a timeline on the right to marryhttp://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/history-and-timeline-of-marriage

Watch the first same-sex marriages in Massachusetts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vylSWfJGtnU

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