Table of Contents

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Photographer’s Preface. Marilyn Humphries shares insights about her experience as a photo-journalist covering the Massachusetts marriage equality struggle.

Introduction. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Goodridge decision of 2003 is set in the context of the profound political, social, and economic changes that have reshaped American families over the past 40 years.

Chapter 1 – Dignity and Equality for All: The Goodridge Decision. The story begins on November 18, 2003, as the plaintiffs, the state, and the nation take in the news that the Massachusetts high court has ruled that same-sex couples cannot be denied the right to marry.

Chapter 2 – Early Milestones: The Struggle for Family Equality. The authors step back to examine how the Massachusetts, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community has struggled since the 1970s to be recognized as full citizens of the commonwealth. The struggle for family equality began in earnest in the 1980s amidst the AIDS crisis and the lesbian baby boom.

Chapter 3 – Separate but Equal? Defending Marriage Equality. Returning to the story of the Goodridge decision and its aftermath, Chapter 3 takes readers inside the hard-fought political battles of 2003 through early 2007, as the LGBT community and its allies fought off efforts to amend the Massachusetts constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Chapter 4 – Here Come the Brides, Here Come the Grooms: Celebrating Marriage Equality. From the celebrations of the first legal same-sex marriages in America in May 2004 to the daily pleasures of married life, Goodridge has had profound personal consequences for the LGBT community. In Chapter 4, some of the 9000 gay and lesbian couples who have married in Massachusetts tell their stories and talk about what marriage has meant to them.

“The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal.”
– Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health