In Provincetown, the chairwoman of the city Board of Selectmen, Cheryl
Andrews, married longtime partner Jennifer Germack.
Andrews called it "one of the greatest things that has ever happened to
me. ... This is the most memorable day of my life," she said.
"It's like a madhouse here, darling," Board of Selectmen secretary
Vernon Porter told the Los Angeles Times. "Everyone's giving flowers.
It's just gorgeous."
In Cambridge, Marcia Kadish and Tanya McCloskey were believed to be the
very first couple to tie the knot, at 9:15 a.m.
Kadish told reporters she felt "all tingly and wonderful" with "so much
love ... bursting out of me."
The seven couples who filed the lawsuit that led to the Supreme Judicial
Court ruling -- the case was named Goodridge v. Department of Public
Health -- all planned to marry Monday.
"Next to the birth of our daughter Annie, this is the happiest day of
our lives," said Julie Goodridge.
In Boston, Mayor Tom Menino escorted three of the plaintiff couples into
"I am very proud to be mayor of the city on this particular day," he
said. "We have broken down another barrier. That is what life is all
about -- breaking down barriers and making this an open society for
everyone to live in, to cherish each other and to have a great life."
Earlier this year, the Massachusetts legislature narrowly passed a draft
constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and establish
civil unions that grant all state-level marriage rights. The amendment
could not take effect until 2006 at the earliest, after being passed
again by the legislature and ratified by voters.
Some observers predict that now that the weddings have begun, support
for the amendment will drop off when legislators and citizens (a)
realize the sky hasn't fallen and (b) see all the happy gay couples
celebrating their love.
A proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage
nationwide is unlikely to clear the hurdles it faces -- a two-thirds
vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and ratification of
three-fourth of the states, political observers believe -- especially
now that same-sex marriage is a reality.
Same-sex marriage also is allowed in the Netherlands (2001), Belgium
(2002), and the Canadian provinces of Ontario (2003), British Columbia
(2003) and Quebec (2004). In th
Several other nations grant, or like the UK are about to grant, some, most or all of the
rights and obligations of marriage to same-sex couples under
registered-partnership and civil-union laws.
President George W. Bush denounced the weddings taking place in
"The sacred institution of marriage should not be redefined by a few
activist judges," he said en route to Topeka, Kan., where, ironically,
he was commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision
that ended racial segregation in schools.
"All Americans have a right to be heard in this debate," Bush said. "I
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."
Gov. Romney said: "An issue as fundamental to society as the definition
of marriage should be decided by the people. Until then, I intend to
follow the law and expect others to do the same."
Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps and his family stood outside Boston City
Hall with their colorful placards.
Focus on the Family's James Dobson said: "We will look back 20, 30, 50
years from now and recall this day as the day marriage ceased to have
any real meaning in our country. The documents being issued all across
Massachusetts may say 'marriage license' at the top,
but they are really death certificates for the institution."