Legal gay marriages in the United States

05/17/2004

Massachusetts has become the first state in the US to allow same-sex couples to get married. Whether it will last or be crushed under the weight of a Constitutional amendment I don’t know, but it’s bloody wonderful in the meantime:

Other towns and cities across the state were also prepared to wed large numbers of same-sex couples as the law came into force. The Supreme Court ruling upheld a decision by the state’s highest court. It said that denying marriage licences to same-sex couples violated anti-discrimination laws.

The Massachusetts ruling has fuelled heated debate across the country – and the controversy has been particularly intense in an election year. In a statement, President Bush said he had called on the Congress “to pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman as husband and wife. The need for that amendment is still urgent, and I repeat that call today.” His rival John Kerry – who is a Massachusetts senator – is also opposed to same-sex marriages, but favours a more limited form of legal recognition.

I think the issue of gay marriage only started to matter to me when I realised that many of my gay friends actually wanted to get married. And on the day when a friend of mine showed me a marriage booking form online in San Francisco and I started looking for the section for gay people and there wasn’t one – It was all the same form… That affected me too I think – to realise that while it was clearly an issue at the moment, the whole point of this battle was about completely collapsing that difference around relationships. That’s a pretty cool goal…