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Massachusetts Becomes First State to Wed Same-Sex Couples

Massachusetts became the first state to allow lesbian and gay couples to marry as the state Supreme Court ruling went into effect today. Some 250 couples lined up outside of Cambridge City Hall just after midnight to be the first to apply for marriage licenses, while over 10,000 supporters gathered outside. “It is an historic day,” said Mary Bonauto, legal director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defender, who argued the case before the Mass. Supreme Court. “This is extraordinarily significant on a personal level, and for the history of our country,” she told the Boston Globe. Our country has always promised we are all equal under the law, and tomorrow, more citizens will be equal under the law than has been the case to date.” At issue still is whether out-of-state couples will be allowed to wed in Massachusetts. Gov. Mitt Romney, an opponent of same-sex marriage, has invoked a 1913 law that he argues prevents out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts because same-sex marriage is illegal in the rest of the country, according to the Globe. Lesbian and gay rights activists are planning to challenge the decision, and some clerks around the state plan to issue marriage licenses to out-of-state couples in defiance of Romney. Meanwhile, several states are currently considering whether lesbian and gay marriages performed in Massachusetts will be considered valid in states. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has launched a new “I Do” campaign to change public opinion about marriage equality. “Our goal is to tell stories that will change the hearts and minds of Americans who are not yet convinced that marriage rights are a simple matter of equality,” said Joan Garry, GLAAD’s executive director, in a release announcing the campaign. DONATE to the Feminist Majority and support our work for equality

Sources:

Boston Globe 5/17/04; Reuters 5/17/04; GLAAD 4/12/04