Nadler Applauds Massachusetts Supreme Court Decision on Civil Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

Nov 17, 2003

Washington, DC -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today applauded the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision ruling that same-sex couples have an equal right to wed under the state constitution. Nadler expressed hope that the state legislature would follow suit by codifying the rights now recognized by the Court.

"The Massachusetts Supreme Court's ruling is pro-family and pro-marriage and will protect the children of gay and lesbian couples," said Nadler. "Just as any heterosexual couple planning to get married, same-sex couples should be treated equally under the law. The government should not be allowed to deny people their right to marry based on who they love. This decision is an important step in protecting the children of gay and lesbian couples"

While the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, it stopped short of requiring the state to issue civil marriage licenses to the couples that challenged the law. The Court has stayed its decision for 180 days to give the state legislature an opportunity to implement the Court's decision.

Nadler said, "The Massachusetts court got it just right. As the Court put it, the Massachusetts Constitution 'affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals,' and 'forbids the creation of second-class citizens.' The Court today has affirmed the value of marriage and has ensured that no one in the State of Massachusetts will be denied the ability to form a loving, stable family. I applaud the Court's decision."