Share your reaction to the gay marriage decision
Massachusetts's highest court ruled 4-3 that same-sex couples are legally entitled to wed under the state constitution, but stopped short of allowing marriage licenses to be issued to the seven couples who challenged the law. The court ordered the Legislature to come up with a solution within 180 days. What are your thoughts on the issue?
Finally.. That's what I say. I"m straight, so it's irrelevant to me, but I have friends and family that can benefit from this. Wake up America. It's 2003. Being gay is not a crime.
It's about time that gay people were given fair and equal treatment. They fall in love, want to be with the person they love, and should be given the same priveliges and rights just like any heterosexual couople. This is not about special priveliges for gay people, its just about being treated as they should be treated, with respect and dignity.
scot , allston, ma
The only disappointment is that the SJC did not immediately grant marriage licenses to the 7 plaintiff couples. It's about time that Massachusetts extended equal rights to same-sex couples!!!
Jennifer, Jamaica Plain, MA
It was with shock ... trembling ... and tears of happiness that I read the SJC's ruling this morning at 10am. Chief Justice Margaret Marshall wrote, "Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support. It brings stability to our society." That exclusive commitment is what my life partner and I have shared for a decade. My partner and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this July – the 10th anniversary of having been "married" in everything but legal status. During the last ten years, we have moved from the Midwest to Cambridge, purchased our first home in Arlington, renovated that home, helped each other advance our careers, seen each other through sickness - minor and major. We’ve paid taxes – lots of taxes! – and we’ve shopped, built, donated, and volunteered in and around our community. However, despite the "normalcy" of our everyday life, there is an added burden that we pay each and every day. We cannot participate in each other's health insurance benefits. We must maintain detailed and up-to-date wills, living wills, and limited / durable power of attorney documents. We cannot file taxes jointly - we must file detailed 1040 forms individually. While many things are possible as an “unmarried” couple - all of our financial accounts are held jointly and we are named beneficiaries on each other’s insurance and 401(k) accounts – there are tax consequences and burdens that we are subject to that “married” couples simply are not. We are required to do more, tell more, document more, disclose more, and in the end, pay more … simply because we are an “unmarried” couple in the eyes of the law. Thankfully, we have benefited from wide acceptance from our families, friends, neighbors, employers, and all of the companies that we do business with. However, lacking the official status of "Married" means that if anything should happen to one of us while on a business trip, the other would be unduly burdened with layers of complex legal issues to deal with - at a time when that should be the last thing anyone should have to be concerned with. Lacking the official status of "Married" also means that we are ineligible for benefits that every other citizen takes for granted: Social Security & Survivor Benefits, unquestioned access to each other in the event of a hospitalization, and much more. The SJC has placed this matter in the hands of the legislature. I have asked my representatives to carefully consider their response to and look beyond the polls, special interest campaigns, and anti-gay foment that will no doubt be surfacing in the coming days. I've asked - pleaded - with them to do the fair and right thing – enact a civil marriage law that gives my partner and I the same – EXACTLY THE SAME – equal rights as every other citizen of the Commonwealth. No more, no less.
Marc , Arlington
It is just wrong. I am sorry if I OFFEND anyone, but marriage is between a MAN and a WOMAN. I do not believe in discrimination of any human, so gay couples should have the right as far as being domestic partners (for health insurance, taxes etc), but calling it marriage is WRONG. The END.
It is disappointing that the court did not immediately order the state to grant the marriage licenses to the plaintiffs. All gay and lesbian persons in Massachusetts should be prepared to fight the legislature every inch of the way because we all know that a change to the state constitution will be sought to make it illegal for gays to marry. I am a Massachusetts citizen who happens to be working overseas but I don't see myself as any different than a heterosexual man that wants to marry. I pay taxes, I spend money, I spend time with my friends. Why shouldn't I be allowed to marry someone I love?
Ed , London, United Kingdom
The Governor, in his statement of developing a Constitional amendment preserving opposite sex marriages, has compressed the national debate on this issue unto the backs of the Commonwealth, and has made a tactical error to resist the surrounding political and social movement. In the long 250 years of U.S. history...the force of change comes from the even minded citizens of MA. The Governor is not dialed in. Hope he still has a UT address?
Paul , Provincetown
Without a doubt, this is a triumph of jurisprudence over prejudice disguised as "morality" - and I say that as a married, heterosexual and politically unaffiliated man. The only moral issue at stake here is whether we permit others to live as they see fit without infringing on another's right to do the same. I commend those jurists and advocates who recognized this fundamental principal beneath all the "conservative" and "liberal" agendas.
Good decision.......Lawrence v. Texas and Goodridge are only the beginning!
I think it's about time.