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Our wedding album: the images of May 17, from towns across Massachusetts, express emotions no words could capture, as overjoyed gay and lesbian couples obtain fully legal marriage licenses for the first time in U.S. history.

Get me to the church on time

How same-sex marriage came to the state of Massachusetts

4.11.2001

In Boston seven same sex couples sue to challenge Massachusetts's ban on gay marriage after being denied marriage licenses.

5.8.2002

A superior court judge rules that the legality of same-sex marriage should be decided by the legislature and rules against granting marriage licenses to the seven couples.

3.4.2003

The Massachusetts supreme judicial court hears arguments in the case brought by the seven gay couples who wish to obtain marriage licenses.

11.18.2003

The supreme judicial court rules it is unconstitutional to bar gay couples from getting married, and it gives the legislature 180 days to come up with a solution to allow gay marriage.

12.11.2003

The Massachusetts senate votes to ask the supreme judicial court if Vermont-style civil unions would satisfy the court's order to permit same-sex marriage.

2.4.2004

The supreme judicial court clarifies its earlier ruling, saying that only full, equal marriage rights for gay couples--not civil union--will satisfy constitutional requirements.

2.6.2004

Presumed Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry announces his opposition to gay marriage in Massachusetts. He endorses civil unions as an alternative.

2.11.2004

The Massachusetts legislature opens its constitutional convention with debate on a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage.

2.12.2004

Lawmakers adjourn the convention amid debate after failing to pass three separate proposals to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage.

3.11.2004

Lawmakers recess the constitutional convention but come closer to passing a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage and allow for civil unions.

3.29.2004

The state legislature approves a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage but legalize civil unions. If approved by the next legislative session, the amendment would go before voters on the November 2006 ballot.

4.15.2004

In an effort to get around his own attorney general, who favors allowing same-sex marriages, Gov. Mitt Romney files a legislative measure to permit him to appeal to the state's high court directly. His effort fails.

4.29.2004

Romney invokes a 1913 state law in an attempt to bar out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying in Massachusetts.

5.14.2004

The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to block the country's first state-sanctioned gay marriages from taking place starting May 17.

5.17.2004

Marriages of gay couples commence in Massachusetts.

After midnight

In Cambridge gay and lesbian couples line up at City Hall the night of May 16. THe town's marriage license office opened at 12:01 A.M. May 17.

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Dressed for success

On May 13 future brides Carole Allen (left) and Nancy Scannell choose their outfits for the big day at a Boston wedding shop.

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Family affair

Annie, age 8, joins in the wedding of her mothers Julie (left) and Hillary Goodridge, plaintiffs in the lawsuit that led to marriage equality [see time line].

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Three generations of love

On the beach after their Provincetown ceremony, Eileen Counihan (left) and Erin Golden hug their 10-year-old son, Jake. The couple have been together for 25 years. Golden's mother, Roberta Poulis, also shares in the moment.

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Signs of commitment

Above: Roberto Diaz (left) and Floyd Rivera (right) light a candle outside a Unitarian church celebrating same-sex marriages in Northampton. Right: Rick Nortt (left) and Doug Madeux, together for six years, kiss after getting their marriage certificate in Cambridge.

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Do solemnly swear...

Jonathan Yarbrough (left) holds hands with partner Cody Rogahn as the Reverend Alison Hyder performs a wedding ceremony on the beach in Provincetown.

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End of a long wait

Two unidentified Cambridge men mark their marriage by celebrating just how long their partnership has lasted.

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First in history

Susan Shepherd (left) and partner Marsha Harris declare victory in Cambridge. Just after midnight, they became the first same-sex couple in the state to receive a marriage license.

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Article Details
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Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Geographic Code:1U1MA
Date:Jun 22, 2004
Words:663
Previous Article:An eye on the House: Brett Wagner wants to become part of a new generation of openly gay congresspeople, but he's chosen a difficult route to get...
Next Article:Gay marriage Inc.: fledgling companies are cashing in on gay and lesbian couples before and after they walk down the aisle.
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