VIDEO: Commemorating 10 years of the freedom to marry in the United States
May 17, 2014 at 08:30 am
Today, May 17, marks the tenth anniversary of the freedom to marry coming to the United States! In 2004, the first same-sex couples in the country married in Massachusetts after a landmark, first-of-its-kind ruling in Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders' case Goodridge v. Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Coincidentally, May 17, 2004 marked the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, which Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson deemed "civil rights karma" at the time.
This week, Wolfson reflected on 10 years of marraige in the United States. He said:
What better way to celebrate a decade of the freedom to marry than to have the first marriage licenses issued to gay couples in the South while bringing down marriage discrimination in Idaho. Since gay couples first won the freedom to marry in Massachusetts, America has come a long way on its journey. Today a super-majority of Americans support the freedom to marry, with majorities in every region of the country and with gay couples able to marry in 40% of the country, up from zero a decade ago. Massachusetts was America’s ‘cradle of liberty,’ and the freedom to marry first won there will soon be shared by all Americans, no matter where they live.
Wolfson served as an advisor to GLAD on the Goodridge case, and in the years following the ruling, Freedom to Marry supported the organization's work to build on the breakthrough across the country, as well as the state campaign to protect the marriage victory from being stripped away by a constitutional amendment. The groundbreaking campaign that defeated the proposed attack amendment was led by Freedom to Marry's national campaign director Marc Solomon, who served as executive director of MassEquality. Solomon explained:
Massachusetts made marriage for gay couples real. These loving families have demonstrated clearly to the rest of the country that the freedom to marry is an unmitigated good. It changes families' lives for the better, strengthens society, and harms no one.
To celebrate Freedom to Marry's own tenth anniversary of working toward marriage for same-sex couples nationwide - we released a new video. Don't miss it:
And don't miss other great reflections about 10 years of marriage in Massachusetts:
- Marc Solomon in The Boston Globe: "Massachusetts Marriage Victory Offers Key Tactical Lessons"
- Evan Wolfson in The Daily Beast: "How Far We've Come in the 10 Years Since the First Legal Gay Marriage"
- MA Gov. Deval Patrick, Marc Solomon, GLAD's Mary Bonauto, & Congressman Barney Frank in The Huffington Post: "Celebrating Marriage Equality"
- The Associated Press: "Tactics Endure After 10 Years of Same-Sex Marriage"
- Q&A with Photographer Joel Benjamin: "Portraits of First Couples to Marry in Massachusetts, 10 Years Later"
- Marc Solomon in Bay Windows: "Thank You, Ralph and Paul"