Press Room

May 16, 2004

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History Made as Massachusetts Issues Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples

'This is a historic day for our community as same-sex couples in Massachusetts no longer face legalized discrimination under state law,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON - History was made today as Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, said the Human Rights Campaign.

"This is a historic day for our community as same-sex couples in Massachusetts no longer face legalized discrimination under state law," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "In a country that guarantees equality under law, it's heartening to see same-sex couples and their children in Massachusetts being provided with the same rights, protections and responsibilities that most families in the state already take for granted."

The first licenses were given at Cambridge City Hall as the clock struck midnight on May 17. Same-sex couples across the state are lining up to receive marriage licenses. There is a three-day waiting period in Massachusetts before couples can marry, however it can be waived by a court. Each of the seven plaintiff couples in Goodridge v. The Department of Public Health - the groundbreaking case that made these marriages possible - will marry today. The case was successfully argued by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.

"All of us here at HRC commend the incredible work of GLAD in making this day possible," added Jacques.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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