Massachusetts on Sunday celebrated the
15th anniversary of the landmark decision which legalized
marriage equality in the commonwealth.
On November 18, 2003, Massachusetts
became the first state in U.S. history to declare a state ban on gay
and lesbian couples marrying unconstitutional.
Then-Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican
and the U.S. Senator-elect from Utah, attempted to reverse and
undermine the Supreme Judicial Court's ruling.
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court found
in Obergefell v. Hodges that gay couples have a constitutional
right to marry, striking down state laws and constitutional
amendments that defined marriage as a heterosexual union.
Obergefell says he doesn't trust Trump on marriage equality.)
Mary Bonauto, civil rights project
director at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), was
the lead attorney in the lawsuit which struck down the prohibition in
Massachusetts. She also argued before the Supreme Court in
“With more same-sex marriages, you
saw more people changing their minds,” Bonauto told the AP in 2013.
“Seeing gay people with their extended families, seeing the
commitment, that's what has turned this around.”
Robert Compton and David Wilson, now
married. were two of the 14 plaintiffs in the case.
“I was confident we were going to
win, and when we won, I was just totally elated,” Compton told NBC
Wilson said that they joined the
lawsuit because they were thinking about how they could protect each
other in retirement. He said that he was not allowed to be by
Compton's bedside when he was hospitalized because they were not
“It was things like that that made me
aware that you might not have all the rights you think you do,”
The men said that during the highly
publicized case they received death threats.