Friday, June 26, 2015
It's a Wonderful Day
From the groundbreaking case of Goodridge v. DPH, 400 Mass. 309 (2003), the pioneering decision of Massachusetts' highest court that opened the way for gay marriage to become legal; the key passage by Chief Justice Margaret Marshall: ~~~~~~~~~~ Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. “It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects.” Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition. It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a “civil right.” Without the right to marry – or more properly, the right to choose to marry – one is excluded from the full range of human experience and denied full protection of the laws for one’s “avowed commitment to an intimate and lasting human relationship.” Because civil marriage is central to the lives of individuals and the welfare of the community, our laws assiduously protect the individual’s right to marry against undue government incursion. That same-sex couples are willing to embrace marriage’s solemn obligations of exclusivity, mutual support, and commitment to one another is a testament to the enduring place of marriage in our laws and in the human spirit. ~~~~~~~~~~ We led the way; today we celebrate a victory for all Americans! Hurrah!