We here in MA were the outliers then, but things have changed a lot in ten years. Now, according to FreedomToMarry.org, polling shows that substantial majorities of Americans in all regions of the country support same-sex marriage, and same-sex couples can marry “in 40% of the country” (I’m not sure how that 40% figure is measured). Even just the last few months have seen a flood of court decisions in unlikely places like Oklahoma, Arkansas and Idaho affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry (though some of those remain in legal limbo).
The Globe has a big section on the ten years since the SJC’s Goodridge decision went into effect, including a spiffy interactive timeline that lets you scroll through the years while the maps update to show you what was going on in the country at that time, and that offers details on where things stand in each state.
The looming cloud on the horizon remains what will happen when the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in, as it inevitably will given the federal court litigation that is working its way up the chain. We pretty much know where eight of the current Justices will come down (though Roberts could surprise us – I doubt he’d be the fifth vote to uphold a constitutional right to marry, but he might be the sixth so as to avoid a 5-4 split on an issue of this magnitude), so it’s all up to Justice Kennedy, as usual. There’s reason for cautious optimism – Kennedy, after all, has authored most of the important gay rights decisions over the last several years. But one should never count one’s chickens before they hatch when it comes to what the Court, and in particular what a single judge, will do when faced with a question that has not previously been squarely presented. And, of course, the membership of the Court could change in unexpected ways before the case actually gets up there.
But that’s all for another day. For today, enjoy the festivities, and give yourself a pat on the back for being part of the state that, ten years ago, showed the rest of the country the way forward. Again.