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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

Gay Marriage in the States

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Winslow Townson/Associated Press, JULIE GOODRIDGE AND HER SPOUSE HILLARY GOODRIDGE CROSS THE STREET AFTER BEING MARRIED (2004). Courtesy of AP/Wideworld.

Creator Winslow Townson/The Associated Press
Context Legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts
Audience Readers of Associated Press newspapers
Purpose To show the expansion of legal rights for gay couples

Historical Significance

In 2004, Hillary Goodridge married her same-sex partner after the Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld the legality of the marriage. This victory entitled the Goodridges to the same rights of heterosexual married couples in Massachusetts. The ruling followed-up on the expansion of individual rights for gays that had begun in 2000 with the Big Three automakers, guaranteeing healthcare benefits for the partners of gay employees and Vermont's recognition of civil unions for gay couples. The national reaction to Massachusetts's decision to legalize gay marriage prompted eleven states to pass constitutional amendments banning gay marriage.

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