Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in the U. Department of Public Health that it was unconstitutional under the Massachusetts Constitution to allow only opposite-sex couples to marry. Massachusetts became the sixth jurisdiction in the world after the Netherlands , Belgium , Ontario , British Columbia , and Quebec to legalize same-sex marriage. It was the first U. In , passing legislation first proposed in , Massachusetts prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in credit, public and private employment, union practices, housing, and public accommodation.
A Brief History of Civil Rights in the United States
Same-sex marriage is made legal nationwide with Obergefell v. Hodges decision - HISTORY
As the plaintiffs in the landmark case -- Goodridge v. Department of Public Health -- that brought same-sex marriage to the first state in the country, the Goodridges, six other couples, and their attorney Mary Bonauto broke an historic barrier on May 17, A decade later, 17 other states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act which had long deterred other states from following Massachusetts' lead, and gays and lesbians now serve openly in the military without fear of being discharged. President Obama and many elected leaders have come to embrace marriage equality as have a majority of Americans. Just last week, the NFL drafted its first openly gay player. Windsor , the case which brought an end to a federal ban on same-sex marriage.
Goodridge v. The November 18, , decision was the first by a U. Despite numerous attempts to delay the ruling, and to reverse it, the first marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples on May 17, , and the ruling has been in full effect since that date. All the plaintiffs had been in long-term relationships with their partners and four of the couples were raising a total of five children.
Over the course of the day, 77 other same-sex couples tied the knot across the state, and hundreds more applied for marriage licenses. The day was characterized by much celebration and only a few of the expected protests materialized. The court then gave the state days in which to change the law.