Ten years ago, Robyn Ochs and Peg Preble became the first same sex couple to marry in the United States on the same day that it became legal to do so in the state of Massachusetts. On Friday, the state celebrated 10 years of marriage equality.
Celebrations are taking place across the state and many couples are renewing the vows they were finally legally allowed to make in 2004. Friday night in Cambridge, the mayor had city hall open at 5 p.m. so that couples could celebrate the historic day by getting married all over again.
— Boston.com (@BostonDotCom) May 16, 2014
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— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) May 17, 2014
Scott Bechaz and Carlos Franca are one of of the many couples who chose this day to get married. "We were supposed to get married in June, and so we're actually moving it up just to marry here at the anniversary because this is pivotal for our community," Bechaz told the AP. "We're just normal people who have fallen in love and want to have the same rights as anyone else falling in love."
— freedomtomarry (@freedomtomarry) May 17, 2014
According to a recent Gallup poll, 54 percent of Americans agree Bechaz and think that same sex marriage should be considered valid. 52 percent would vote for a federal law legalizing it.
"Since Massachusetts began marrying people, the joy spread,” lawyer Mary Bonauto said at Cambridge city hall, according to AP. “You couldn't argue with it anymore," she said. "Seeing the reality — seeing these families who were happy and together, more secure and everyone else was just fine — really made all the difference."
Bonauto and her team at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, argued and won Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health, a case that changed the lives of thousands of same sex couples.
— Michelle Briand (@Emperorofjapan) May 17, 2014
Since Massachusetts took the first leap in 2004, 16 states and the District of Columbia have followed in the last decade with more to come. That leaves 33 states where same-sex couples still cannot marry. In Arkansas, the Supreme Court suspended the issuance of gay-marriage licenses twice this week. But there have been steps in the right direction: Same-sex marriage bans have been struck down in Idaho, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia.