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. The question before us is whether, consistent with the Massachusetts Constitution, the Commonwealth may deny the protections, benefits, and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry. We conclude that it may not. The Massachusetts Constitution affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals. It forbids the creation of second-class citizens. In reaching our conclusion we have given full deference to the arguments made by the Commonwealth. But it has failed to identify any constitutionally adequate reason for denying civil marriage to same-sex couples. ... Without question, civil marriage enhances the “welfare of the community.” It is a “social institution of the highest importance.” ... Civil marriage anchors an ordered society by encouraging stable relationships over transient ones. It is central to the way the Commonwealth identifies individuals, provides for the orderly distribution of property, ensures that children and adults are cared for and supported whenever possible from private rather than public funds, and tracks important epidemiological and demographic data. Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. “It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects.” ... Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.For more information about the efforts to extend the freedom to marry to all people, check out these links: Lambda Legal Freedom to Marry Love Is Love Is Love Human Rights Campaign Normal snarkiness resumes tomorrow.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Ultimate Godawful Wedding Crap
Bush went on air today to outline his plans to ensure that full civil rights are never extended to a significant minority of the United States population. The decision in Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health (Mass. Supreme Court) eloquently and beautifully outlines why this is wrong. All of us getting married right now need to be aware that we're exercising a fundamental right - and one that is currently denied many couples in this country: the right to full legal recognition of our mutual commitments and the familes we have created together.