ACLU Cheers Massachusetts High Court Decision Confirming Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

February 4, 2004 12:00 am

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BOSTON — The American Civil Liberties Union today welcomed a decision by Massachusetts’ highest court confirming that the state cannot deny same-sex couples the right to marry. The Massachusetts state senate had formally asked the court if it would be legal to keep same-sex couples from marrying if it created a system of “civil unions.” The court said “no.”

“Massachusetts’s highest court has now made it clear that two people who fall in love and form a committed relationship should not be denied the right to protect their relationship through marriage just like any other couple,” said Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts.

Today’s decision reaffirms an earlier decision by the Massachusetts high court that same-sex couples are entitled to equal marriage rights under the state constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection.

“The Court says that a ‘civil union’ system can never be really equal,” explained Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Project. “If you give all couples the same state legal protections, the only possible explanation for saying same-sex couples are in a ‘union’ instead of a marriage is to say they are less worthy.”

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