NOW Leaders Applaud Massachusetts Supreme Court Ruling Favoring Same-Sex Marriage Rights
February 6, 2004
by NOW StaffLeaders of the National Organization for Women (NOW) applauded this week's Massachusetts Supreme Court's ruling that will pave the way for the first and only state-recognized same-sex marriages, starting on May 17.
The court determined that nothing short of full-fledged marriage would comply with the court's earlier ruling in November, and that civil unions would not pass muster under the Massachusetts Constitution. NOW leaders celebrated the decision, saying that equal access to marriage promotes strong family values--despite allegations otherwise from the right-wing.
"The Massachusetts Supreme Court recognized the fact that separate can never be equal," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "Every person in this country, regardless of their sexual orientation, has the same right to the host of legal protections that marriage brings -- from health insurance and tax deductions to inheritance and child custody."
Heterosexual married couples are afforded over 1,000 legal protections and benefits in state and federal law which are inaccessible to committed same-sex couples. Benefits of civil marriage include access to health insurance and medical decision making for your partner and your children; parenting rights; Social Security; tax deductions and exemptions, inheritance rights and other government benefits; as well as the simple ability to pool resources to buy or transfer property without adverse tax treatment.
"Heterosexual couples don't have a monopoly on love, and shouldn't have a monopoly on marriage," Gandy continued. "My marriage won't be threatened or undermined, and neither will anyone else's, by making marriage rights available to committed couples in every state."
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