Access to Marriage for Same-Sex Couples: History and Context
On May 17, 2004, pursuant to the Massachusetts
Supreme Court decision Goodridge
v. Department of Public Health, Massachusetts became the
first state in the nation to sanction same-sex marriages. Cheering
crowds serenaded newly married couples while President Bush called
again for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
The battle over same-sex marriage continues to play out in our courthouses,
legislatures, and voting booths. Seattle University Law Library
has assembled this Web site to provide information about the legal
activity swirling around us in this historic time.
Plaintiffs in Andersen v. Sims, one of two cases
currently challenging Washington's statute prohibiting same-sex
Ellen Wade and Maureen Brodoff, plaintiffs in Goodridge
v. Department of Public Health, are married at Newton
City Hall in Massachusetts, May 17, 2004.
San Francisco City Hall, February 16, 2004. Hundreds of gay and
lesbian couples wait for their turn to marry. Photo © San Francisco
The SU Law Library would like to thank:
- Northwest Women’s Law Center
- The San Francisco Chronicle
- The Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project