On Thursday afternoon, May 16, on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the freedom to marry in Massachusetts, Boston Mayor Tom Menino will join gay couples and their families in calling for marriage equality nationwide. The event, co-sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), which won the historic Goodridge case in 2003, and the Respect for Marriage Coalition, will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 16th in the Boston Public Garden.
On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to allow loving, committed couples to enter into marriage. In addition to Mayor Menino, who on that day personally welcomed couples seeking their marriage licenses in Boston’s City Hall, plaintiffs from both the Goodridge case and ongoing litigation challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will be on hand.
Nearly a decade after the MA Supreme Judicial Court issued its landmark Goodridge ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court is now considering a pair of historic cases that will impact millions of same-sex couples nationwide. The two cases—one challenging California’s ban on the freedom to marry, and another seeking an end to DOMA – are fundamentally about whether gay and lesbian Americans are entitled to the same freedoms and Constitutional rights as everyone else.
DOMA denies legally married gay and lesbian couples federal recognition and equal treatment, preventing them from accessing the programs and benefits available to every other married couple. DOMA has been especially painful to Massachusetts couples, many of whom have endured nine years of additional costs in such areas as taxed health benefits, unavailable survivor’s benefits and income tax complications.
Although 12 states and Washington, D.C., have now passed laws legalizing same-sex marriage, 38 states still do not allow gay couples to marry.
In the event of inclement weather, a rain location will be announced. For more information and up to the minute event details, visit the event Facebook page here:
The Respect for Marriage Coalition is a partnership of more than 100 civil rights, faith, health, labor, business, legal, LGBT, student, and women's organizations working together to end the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and grow support for the freedom to marry. The Coalition is co-chaired by Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign.