Mass. Politicians React to Supreme Court’s Landmark Same-Sex Marriage Decision
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage Friday, declaring in a 5-4 decision that marriage is a fundamental right not to be deprived of same-sex couples.
State Senate President Stan Rosenberg was instrumental in the fight for marriage equality in Massachusetts back in 2003—a critical step in the national movement. Friday morning, he celebrated the Obergefell v. Hodges decision in a statement.
“Today is a momentous day in history. The Supreme Court has confirmed what we have known in Massachusetts for many years – you should be able to marry the person that you love,” said Rosenberg, the first openly gay senate president in Massachusetts history. “Almost every legislator who voted to protect same-sex marriage in 2004 will tell you it was one of the most important moments of their lives. This is not just a victory for LGBTQ Americans; this is a victory for all people who value the principles of liberty and equality that our system of self-government is built upon.”
Speaker Robert DeLeo, Rosenberg’s counterpart in the House, commended the state’s LGBTQ “pioneers,” who helped make Massachusetts “a bastion for equality.”
“As a society, one of our greatest responsibilities is to ensure that Americans are treated with equal respect and dignity,” DeLeo said in a statement. “I commend the Supreme Court for its statement today that ‘the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person’ and am proud that Massachusetts led the way in fighting for same sex marriage.”
Gov. Charlie Baker similarly praised the decision in a statement. “For me, the issue of marriage equality is personal,” he said. “I’m pleased the Commonwealth has already recognized same-sex marriages in our state, and with today’s Supreme Court decision every American citizen across the nation will have equal protection under the law and the right to marry the person they choose.”
In March, State Attorney General Maura Healey—the nation’s first openly gay AG—filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on behalf of Massachusetts and 16 other jurisdictions. In 2009, she helped lead the state’s successful challenge of the Defense of Marriage Act, which allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states.
“The right to marry the person you love is finally the law of the land, and it’s about time,” Healey said in a statement. “In Massachusetts, we fought for and won this freedom more than 10 years ago. We have seen how marriage equality makes a real difference in the lives of couples and their children, and now the rest of the country will get to see the same. This ruling also ensures that families will not have to worry about losing essential legal protections when they travel or move out-of-state.”