Here are a few of Courting Equality’s 110 images. Were you there? What are your memories? Share your comments below the pictures. All images © 1987-2007 Marilyn Humphries. All rights reserved.

The seven plaintiff couples in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health gathered on March 12, 2002,outside Suffolk Superior Court House, where GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders)argued their case for marriage equality.

Demanding our civil rights, such as same-sex marriage, has a long history in the Massachusetts LGBT community. Here LGBT demonstrators on December 7, 1987, picket outside the State House to demand a vote on the lesbian and gay civil rights bill”which we finally won in 1989.

On November 18, 2003, the highest court in Massachusetts ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. This photograph shows some of the plaintiffs, along with communications consultant Mary Breslauer (foreground right) and attorney Mary Bonauto (far right), walking from the GLAD offices to a victory press conference. Visible behind the Goodridges (left) are plaintiffs Ellen Wade, Mike Horgan, and Linda Davies.

GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto addresses the crowd at the March 10, 2004, MassEquality candlelight vigil. Rep. Byron Rushing, a longtime supporter of the gay community and a leader on the same-sex marriage issue, is standing next to her.

Thousands of people on both sides of the marriage equality issue gathered outside and inside the State House during constitutional conventions (2004-2007) at which legislators debated amending the constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage.

Carl Sciortino, a gay marriage equality activist, celebrates his 2004 primary victory against an ardent foe of same-sex marriage. In the background, Sue Hyde of NGLTF and Marty Rouse of MassEquality show their delight in Sciortino’s victory. Thanks to the efforts of MassEquality and grassroots activism, no incumbents supportive of same-sex marriage lost their seats during this election.

Massachusetts citizens celebrate the big defeat of an anti-gay marriage amendment in September 2005. On the right are openly lesbian legislator Liz Malia and assistant majority leader Lida Harkins. Between them, in the back, is Senator Harriette Chandler. Unfortunately, the struggle wasn’t over: a citizen’s petition to amend the constitution would go to the legislature for votes in 2006 and 2007.

Cambridge was the first Massachusetts city to begin taking applications for marriage licenses, beginning at midnight on May 17, 2004. Keith Maynard and Chip McLaughlin filed for their license in the wee hours, but when they left City Hall they were greeted by the cheers of a jubilant crowd of thousands that had gathered outside. Later that day, Keith and Chip became the first Cambridge couple to marry.

Goodridge plaintiffs Dave Wilson and Rob Compton look on as the Reverend Kim Crawford Harvie signs their marriage license at the Unitarian Universalist Arlington Street Church on the first day of legal same-sex marriage, May 17, 2004.

Among the families celebrating marriages at Arlington Street Church on May 20, 2004, were M.J. Knoll, Christine Finn, and their four-year-old son, Henry. After the wedding, Henry concluded on his own, “Now we’re all Knoll-Finns.”

After they married, Paul McMahon and Ralph Hodgdon became an integral part of pro-marriage equality events, holding their annually updated sign. Here they give witness at a September 2005 candlelight vigil outside the state house.

4 responses to “Images

  1. These photographs capture the bravery and hopefulness of the marriage-equality movement. I was a Mass resident for nearly ten years and I am so proud of Massachusetts for being one of the pioneer states in this good fight. These pictures will certainly inspire communities near and far to work for same-sex marriage equality.

  2. Marilyn Humphries has been documenting GLBT struggles for years with her striking photos. The images in “Courting Equality” are her crowning achievement, in my opinion. They convey both the joy and the anguish of the amazing story of marriage equality in Massachusetts.

  3. Beautiful, noble, lovely. We ARE the people, and God preserve the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!

  4. I came out when I was 15 in 1970. I’ve been lucky to know even then that being a lesbian-feminist was an extraordinary filter to experience life. I’m so proud of my people for perservering. This book will bring great joy, great awareness, and inspiration to so many. I can’t wait to see what we do next.

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