May 18, 2003. Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.<br><br>In a 50-page, 4–3 ruling delivered on November 18, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that the state may not "deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry." Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, writing for the majority, wrote that the state's constitution "affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals" and "forbids the creation of second-class citizens" and that the state had no "constitutionally adequate reason" for denying marriage to same-sex couples.<br><br><br>This is part of what they said:<br><br>Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nutures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations. The question before us is whether, consistent with the Massachusetts Constitution, the Commonwealth may deny the protections, benefits, and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry. We conclude that it may not. The Massachusetts Constitution affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals. It forbids the creation of second-class citizens. In reaching our conclusion we have given full deference to the arguments made by the Commonwealth. But it has failed to identify any constitutionally adequate reason for denying civil marriage to same-sex couples.<br>We are mindful that our decision marks a change in the history of our marriage law.<br>Many people hold deep-seated religious, moral, and ethical convictions that marriage should be limited to the union of one man and one woman, and that homosexual conduct is immoral. Many hold equally strong religious, moral, and ethical convictions that same-sex couples are entitled to be married, and that homosexual persons should be treated no differently than their heterosexual neighbors. Neither view answers the question before us. Our concern is with the Massachusetts Constitution as a charter governance for every person properly within it’s reach. Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code. Lawrence v Texas 539 U.S. 558 (2003) (Lawrence), quoting Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 850 (1992)<br>Whether the Commonwealth may use its formidable regulatory authority to bar same-sex couples from civil marriage is a question not previously addressed by a Massachusetts appellate court. It is a question the United States Supreme Court left open as a matter of Federal Law in Lawrence, supra at 2484, where it is not an issue. There, the Court affirmed that the core concept of common human dignity protected by the fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution precludes government intrusion into the deeply personal realms of consensual adult expressions of intimacy and one’s choice of an intimate partner. The Court also reaffirmed the central role that decisions whether to marry or have children bear in shaping one’s identity. Id. at 2841. The Massachusetts Constitution is, if anything, more protective of individual liberty and equality than the Federal Constituion; it may demand broader protection of fundamental rights; and it is less tolerant of government intrusion into the protected spheres of private life.<br><br>The department posits three legislative rationales for prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying: (1) providing a “favorable setting for procreation”; (2) ensuring the optimal setting for child rearing, which the department defines as “a two-parent family with one parent of each sex”; (3) preserving scarce State and private financial resources. We consider each in turn.<br><br>The judge in the Superior Court endorsed the first rationale, holding that “state interest in regulating marriage is based on the traditional concept that marriage’s primary purpose is procreation. This is incorrect. [color:blue]Our laws of civil marriage do not privilege procreative heterosexual intercourse between married people above every other form of adult intimacy and every other means of creating a family. General Laws c. 207 contains no requirement that the applicants for a marriage license attest to their ability or intention to conceive children by coitus.</font color=blue> Fertility is not a condition of marriage, nor is it grounds for divorce. [color:blue]People who have never consummated their marriage, and never plan to, may be and stay married.</font color=blue> See Franklin v. Franklin, 154 Mass. 515, 516 ([color:blue]"The consummation of a marriage by coition is not necessary to its validity"</font color=blue>). People who cannot stir from their deathbed may marry. See G.L. c.207 & 28A. While it is certainly true that many, perhaps most, married couples have children together (assisted or unassisted), it is the exclusive and permanent commitment of the marriage partners to one another, not the begetting of children, that is the sine qua non of civil marriage.<br><br>Moreover, the Commonwealth affirmatively facilitates bringing children into a family regardless of whether the intended parent is married or unmarried, whether the child<br>is adopted or born into a family, whether assistive technology was used to conceive the child, and whether the parent or her partner is heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. If procreation were necessary component of civil marriage, our statutes would draw tighter circle around the permissible bounds of nonmarital child bearing and the creation of families by noncoital means. The attempt to isolate procreation as “the source of a fundamental right to mary, 440 Mass. at 370 (Cordy, J., dissenting),overlooks the integrated way in which courts have examined the complex and overlapping realms of personal autonomy, marriage, family life, and child rearing. Our jurisprudence recognizes that, in these nuanced and fundamentally private areas of life, such a narrow focus is inappropriate.<br><br>We construe civil marriage to mean the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others. This reformulation redresses the plaintiffs' constitutional injury and furthers the aim of marriage to promote stable, exclusive relationships. It advances the two legitimate State interests the department has identified: providing a stable setting for child rearing and conserving State resources. It leaves intact the Legislature's broad discretion to regulate marriage. See Commonwealth v. Stowell, 389 Mass. 171, 175 (1983). In their complaint the plaintiffs request only a declaration that their exclusion and the exclusion of other qualified same-sex couples from access to civil marriage violates Massachusetts law. We declare that barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution. We vacate the summary judgment for the department. We remand this case to the Superior Court for entry of judgment consistent with this opinion. Entry of judgment shall be stayed for 180 days to permit the Legislature to take such action as it may deem appropriate in light of this opinion. See, e.g., Michaud v. Sheriff of Essex County, 390 Mass. 523, 535-536 (1983). <br><br>Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of Massachusetts began on May 17, 2004, as a result of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health<br><br>February 4, 2004: The court clarified in a statement to the Massachusetts Senate that it was unacceptable to allow heterosexual couples marriages but homosexual couples only civil unions; they found the distinction unconstitutional discrimination, even if the state rights granted were otherwise identical. The court also reiterated the need for the Legislature to change marital laws. "The purpose of the stay was to afford the Legislature an opportunity to conform the existing statutes to the provisions of the Goodridge decision.”<br><br>May 17, 2004: Gov. Romney ordered town clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as per the Supreme Judicial Court's ruling, 180 days after it was issued.<br><br>http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:xXz...;cd=2&gl=us<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Goodridge v. Department of Public Health<p><hr></blockquote><p>That indeed is very interesting but the judge's reasoning goes wrong here ---><br><br>[color:purple]"...that marriage’s primary purpose is procreation. This is incorrect. Our laws of civil marriage do not privilege procreative heterosexual intercourse" </font color=purple><br><br>The primary purpose of marriage is an evolutionary fact and can't be contradicted by legislation. Legislation can change the law but it can't make a fact untrue.<br><br>and then he goes wrong here...<br><br>[color:purple]"General Laws c. 207 contains no requirement that the applicants for a marriage license attest to their ability or intention to conceive children"</font color=purple><br><br>It's the potential for procreation in the institution of marriage that validates it not whether in a particular case it's intended or achieved. And all that stuff about "begetting children" is just plain daft. Moreover, what is a valid marriage has never been determined by what people attest to in advance. A groom does not have to attest that he is not already married but as I've already pointed out if it just so happens that he is his second marriage is invalid. <br><br>As to Franklin v. Franklin 154 Mass. 515, 516 ("The consummation of a marriage by coition is not necessary to its validity"). There are three problems with relying on this. First of all it's only a Massachusetts case which is contradcted by decisions elswhere in the US and England. Secondly, the parties were heterosexual and there is ample authority that consummation is unachievable by same-sex partners. Thirdly, when the case was cited in Goodridge's case it failed to achieve the unanimous endorsement of the court so it's now a weakened authority. <br><br>When the judge's flawed reasoning in Goodridge comes to be cited and exposed in the next case the decision is unlikely to hold sway against the overwhelming weight of authority to the contrary including the dissenting judgments in Goodridge itself - and if it does, it shouldn't, for all the reasons I've already given.<br><br>km
Loc: Hampstead, MD, USA
&[censored]. Potential for procreation is in no way a validation of marriage.<br><br>By your reasoning there, a man and woman who are both infertile and know each other to be infertile upon entering marriage cannot have a valid marriage, because there is no potential for procreation.<br><br>Likewise, a couple who are past the age of being able to procreate and wishing to marry also would not have a valid marriage, because there is no potential for them to procreate. <br><br>Your logic is flawed.<br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!®
Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!® twitter.com/SgtBaxter facebook.com/Bryan.Eckert
&[censored]. Potential for procreation is in no way a validation of marriage... By your reasoning there, a man and woman who are both infertile... cannot have a valid marriage<p><hr></blockquote><p>B◊ll◊cks - what I said was that "It's the potential for procreation in the [color:red]institution</font color=red> of marriage that validates it" and I specifically stated that the fate of particular unions within that insitution was irrelevant when it comes to evaluating the reasons for it.<br><br>km<br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>It's the law. It's been the law for 4 years and 5 months.<p><hr></blockquote><p>It might be the law in MA but it's not the law in CA.. arguing what the law is won't help your case much because on gay marriage generally it's overwehelmingly against you across the USA and indeed the rest of the world... I thought your argument was for a change in the law.<br><br>km
#391066 - 10/29/0808:53 AMRe: Why should gay marriages be allowed?
Proud MacBabe. Happy everything to everybody.
Loc: B.C. Canada
----------------<br>Okay maybe this will be simpler so you can understand<br><br>Can 2 guys replace a woman when it comes to "Whats it like being a female" ??<br><br>Can 2 gals replace a man when it comes to ""whats it like being a man" ? ?<br><br>Wheres the balance<br>___________<br><br>That is just blatantly ridiculous. There are millions of children that grow up in one parent homes. <br><br>
#391067 - 10/29/0808:56 AMRe: Why should gay marriages be allowed?
Proud MacBabe. Happy everything to everybody.
Loc: B.C. Canada
Also, under your ludicrous theory, Lesbians can raise female children and Gay men can raise male children without having to worry about your silly questions.<br>"What's it like being a female/male"?<br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Can 2 gals replace a man when it comes to ""whats it like being a man" ? ?<p><hr></blockquote><p>I do believe you're onto something there so yes I agree with your question one hundred per cent - no, they can't. Everyone knows that the experiences provided to children from mothers and fathers respectively are different so that, for example, affiliative behaviour such as smiling, laughing and looking at and vocalising are more likely to be directed at the father. Just as importantly because of the significance of play in preparing a child for later life is the fact that a father's interraction with the child is more likely to encourage play than is the mother's where contact tends to take the form of care-taking. This leads one to suppose that same-sex couples are incapable by reason of gender of providing the best balance of attachments for a child at crucial stages of his or her early life.<br><br>km<br><br>
Holy crap! There's ice in Hawaii! But, predictably, it's thin. And you're standing on it, carp. Your logic (and I use that term generously in this case) offends me as an adoptive parent, and offends every single parent and every same sex couple I know. My youngest daughter has had dozens of friends friends who have two moms or two dads or only one or the other. And I've provided references for at least half a dozen gay couples during their adoption processes. All normal, intelligent, and most important LOVING parents whose nurturing and parenting skills were no different than any hetero couple.<br><br>I am really shocked by your attitude. As you say, you're a single parent and Jazz seems like quite the fine young woman -- accomplished artist, caring mother... a daughter to be proud of. But is such success only yours? Can no other parent do as good a job? Are they to be denied such nachas because they're gay? <br><br>I'm sorry, ol' buddy, but if you're not, I'm embarrassed for you.<br><br>
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