BOSTON – Today marks the 13th anniversary of the first marriages for same-sex couples in Massachusetts, which took place at Boston City Hall in 2004 and marked the first time in the nation’s history that same-sex couples could legally marry.
“Winning the freedom to marry in Massachusetts was the result of years of hard work, a sustained campaign, and an unprecedented statewide movement of thousands of people committed to ending discrimination,” said Deborah Shields, executive director of MassEquality, the state’s leading LGBT group and a founding partner of Freedom Massachusetts. “But with the state’s transgender public accommodations law threatened by a ballot initiative in 2018, civil rights are again under attack. We must live up to Massachusetts’ proud reputation as a national leader for basic dignity and freedom for all people. Massachusetts cannot roll back the clock on equality.”
Last week, a Gallup poll showed unprecedented support for marriage for same-sex couples in America—64 percent in favor with only 34 percent opposed.
In 2016, Massachusetts became the only state to pass a law ensuring full protections for transgender people from discrimination in all public places. Opponents of transgender equality in October submitted the low threshold of signatures—less than half of 1% of the Massachusetts population—needed to put that law to a ballot measure in 2018. Governor Charlie Baker has said that he will vote in favor of upholding the law and endorsed it while it was pending in the legislature, calling the stories of transgender people “really compelling” and stating that they have a strong case.