Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules For Lesbian/Gay Marriage

In a landmark decision the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled on November 18, 2003, that gay and lesbian couples could no longer be excluded from obtaining civil marriages in Massachusetts. The 4-3 ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, filed by New England's Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, is the first of its kind in this country by a final appellate court. National NASW and the NASW Massachusetts Chapter filed an amicus brief in support of this case. NASW has a strong commitment to work for civil rights and equality for all peoples under the law.

The Court's ruling is based on the equality provisions of the State Constitution. The Court stated, "The marriage ban works deep and scarring hardship on a very real segment of the community for no rational reason.”