Light some rainbow candles and crank up the Lady GaGa, it’s time to celebrate! Today marks the eighth anniversary of a truly historic moment in civil rights. On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to legalize marriage between same-sex couples.
On that day, the state’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. That ruling has since paved the way for LGBT equality that is slowly but surely spreading across the rest of the country.
Kara Suffredini, executive director of MassEquality, issued a statement praising the state’s progress. “In the eight years that same-sex couples have been marrying in Massachusetts, we have learned that our communities are safer, happier, and healthier when all families are respected, supported and celebrated.”
“As time goes on and even larger majorities of Americans come to support marriage equality, we look forward to the day when all Americans can enjoy the freedom to marry,” she said.
The Metro reports that 18,462 legal same-sex marriages have been performed in the state since the landmark 2004 decision.
New York, Washington, Maryland, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and the District of Columbia have since joined Massachusetts in passing marriage equality.
Photo credit: Marc Love (Creative Commons)