Just got this from Abigail Garner's newsletter, which is highly recommended: Boston.com / News: Massachusetts court rules ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional
By Associated Press, 11/18/2003
BOSTON -- Massachusetts' highest court ruled Tuesday that same-sex couples are legally entitled to wed under the state constitution, but stopped short of immediately allowing marriage licenses to be issued to the couples who challenged the law.
The court, in a 4-3 ruling, ordered the Legislature to come up with a solution within 180 days.
"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," Chief Justice Margaret Marshall wrote in the long-awaited ruling. "For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial and social benefits. In return, it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations."
The Supreme Judicial Court's ruling closely matches the 1999 Vermont Supreme Court decision, which led there to the Legislature's approval in 2000 of civil unions that give couples many of the same benefits of marriage.
Not quite time to pop open the champagne yet, as the mailing says:
This does not mean, however, that same-sex couples in Massachusetts will be able to tie the knot immediately. The Legislature now has 180 days to come up with a solution that responds to the decision.
Links for additional information:
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) Website: http://www.glad.org
Website for the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts: (a very long URL that messed up the page formatting, so just click)
Boston Globe article: http://www.boston.com/news/daily/18/gay_marriage.htm
So, six months at least until a resolution. But it's something.
Doubt I'd be so patient and accepting of baby steps like this if I was directly affected, and I'm hardly one to counsel others on patience. But with Bush and Co. running the show, any good news seems like a blessing.
This entry is dedicated to the Nubian Goddess: Abigail Garner