BOSTON, May 16, 2012—Tomorrow marks the eighth anniversary of the rights of same-sex couples to wed in Massachusetts. MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini, Esq. issued the following statement on the eve of the anniversary:
“Our country is moving swiftly toward the day when the right to marry will be extended to all residents. Last week, President Barack Obama affirmed his support for marriage equality. This year, Washington and Maryland passed marriage equality bills that were signed into law by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and WashingtonGov. Christine Gregoire. Last year, New York began recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples. And both Rhode Island and New Mexico explicitly recognize the marriages of same-sex couples performed out of state. Today, more than 14 percent of the US population lives in a state that recognizes the marriages of same-sex couples.
“Just eight years ago, in 2004, when Massachusetts first began honoring the marriages of same-sex couples, the issue of marriage equality was cynically exploited by the national GOP for political gain. Today, seven national polls have found that Americans explicitly support the rights of same-sex couples to marry and the days of maligning the marriages of same-sex couples to scare voters are fast ending.
“That all this has occurred in less than a decade speaks to the power of the honest conversation that is taking place across America as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents come out to their friends, family, and neighbors. We are extremely proud that the movement for marriage equality saw its first victory in Massachusetts, where 18,462 same-sex couples have wed since May 17, 2004. 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.
“We are extremely proud of the role MassEquality played in winning marriage equality in Massachusetts. We look forward to additional victories for LGBT residents of the state in making schools safer for LGBT students; ending the epidemic of homelessness among LGBT teens and young adults; ensuring that LGBT elders can age with dignity; and collaborating with social justice organizations to lift up all of our vulnerable communities in the Commonwealth.”