Today, Massachusetts celebrates its “tin” anniversary—a decade of same-sex marriages.
On November 18, 2003, the Supreme Judicial Court declared a same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional—the first in the United States to do so. Since then, fifteen other states have followed suit, with a record seven of them joining in 2013.
In accordance with the symbolism of the tin year—representing the necessary love and durability for a successful marriage—the ruling has overcome many obstacles, including former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s attempt at a reversal.
The Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders’ (GLAD) project director, Mary Bonauto, was the lead attorney for the landmark lawsuit.
“With more same-sex marriages, you saw more people changing their minds,” Bonauto told the Associated Press. “Seeing gay people with their extended families, seeing the commitment, that’s what has turned this around.”
The Supreme Court’s dissolution of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June has paved the road for further progress in marriage equality. New Mexico and Oregon are expected to follow within a year.
Still, opponents won’t rest, especially given next year’s projected slowing of states with voter-approved same-sex marriage bans.
“Same-sex marriage represents a classic conflict with religious freedom,” said founder and chairman of the Christian conservative legal group Liberty Counsel, Matthew Staver. “I think there will come a tipping point where the pendulum will swing the other way as people begin to see the impact of same-sex marriage.”
Most recently, Hawaii joined the growing list of marriage equality supporters. Governor Neil Abercrombie signed the bill last Wednesday, November 13.