After the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in November 2003 that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the state Constitution, the state Senate asked the high court for an opinion on a proposed law that would ban marriage for same-sex couples, but create civil unions instead. On Feb. 3, 2004, a four-justice majority of the court ruled that such a law would be unconstitutional. Three justices dissented.
(By Raphael Lewis, Globe Staff, 2/5/04)
The Supreme Judicial Court on Feb. 5 put Massachusetts on course to become the first state in the nation to allow gays to marry, deciding that a proposed civil unions bill for gay couples would establish "an unconstitutional, inferior, and discriminatory status for same-sex couples."
Justices' opinions reveal deep division (By Kathleen Burge, Globe Staff, 2/5/04)
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: Legislators' vote due on same-sex measure (By Frank Phillips, Globe Staff, 2/5/04)
REACTIONS: Officials, state legislators ponder their next moves (By Scott S. Greenberger, Globe Staff, 2/5/04)
IN THEIR WORDS: 'Separate is seldom. . . equal' (Boston Globe, 2/5/04)
In Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Nov. 18, 2003 that same-sex couples have the legal right to marry under the state Constitution. Four justices made up the majority; three dissented.
(By Kathleen Burge, Globe Staff, 11/19/03)
In a historic and long-awaited decision, a deeply split Supreme Judicial Court on Nov. 18 ushered in a new era of gay rights, becoming the nation's first state supreme court to rule that same-sex couples have the legal right to marry.
Lawmakers are divided on response (By Frank Phillips and Rick Klein, Globe Staff, 11/19/03)
NEWS ANALYSIS: Some Republicans see decision as a stance to run against in '04 (By Anne E. Kornblut, Globe Staff, 11/19/03)
THE CANDIDATES: Most are cautious in voicing support (By Joanna Weiss, Globe Staff, 11/19/03)
Among same-sex couples, proposals, tears flow (By Yvonne Abraham, Globe Staff, 11/19/03)
RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY: Strong, divided opinions mark clergy response (By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 11/19/03)
ON THE STREET: Some wonder, others welcome decision (By Donovan Slack, Globe Correspondent, 11/19/03)
STATES' DIFFERENCES: Legal conflicts to take years to develop, some analysts say (By Lyle Denniston, Globe Correspondent,
and Raphael Lewis, Globe Staff, Boston Globe, 11/19/03)
WORKPLACE IMPACT: Employee benefits in line to be extended (By Kimberly Blanton, Globe Staff, 11/19/03)
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Ruling extends 20 years of cases (By Thanassis Cambanis, Globe Staff, 11/19/03)