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This month marks the 10th anniversary of the historic Goodridge decision in Massachusetts that granted marriage to its gay and lesbian citizens. That decision remains one of the most eloquent tributes to the institution of marriage and why government cannot deny that fundamental freedom to loving same-sex couples.
It also captures so much of what my nearly 40-year marriage has meant to me, my husband and our family and I am not alone. Passages from the Goodridge decision have become one of the most common readings at weddings — gay and straight — across the country.
Here’s part of what Margaret Marshall wrote in the court’s decision:
“Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures 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... Without question, civil marriage enhances the ‘welfare of the community.’ It is a ‘social institution of the highest importance.’”
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