New England-based Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders represented seven same-sex couples seeking the right to marry in this historic case. After GLAD won at the state’s highest court, the state senate attempted to circumvent the ruling with a request to the court about whether civil unions would be adequate, and the court said no. Lambda Legal played a supportive role in both stages. First, with our sister legal organizations and others, we filed a friend-of-the-court briefin support of the plaintiffs’ claim for marriage equality under the state constitution, adding additional material about why this issue should be decided by the courts. Then when the state senate advanced its civil union bill for review, Lambda Legal again joined forces with other groups, as well as civil rights hero Congressman John Lewis, to file a friend-of-the-court brief demonstrating that the separate status of civil unions does not fulfill the promise of equality. The court accepted this argument, and Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry.
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