Massachusetts became first state to legalize same-sex marriage

On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the union to legalize same-sex marriage. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that the state's constitution prohibited a ban on same-sex marriage passed in November 2003. Attempts to reverse the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state through ballot initiatives, amendments and legislation were unsuccessful, despite support from Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Seal of Massachusetts

Read an overview of Same-Sex Marriage in Features.


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This Day at Law is JURIST's platform for legal history, highlighting interseting and important developments that shaped the law and the world.

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