The Dignity and Equality of All Individuals:
Goodridge v. Department of Public Health

Plaintiffs Julie and Hillary Goodridge with Attorney Mary Bonauto

Plaintiffs Julie and Hillary Goodridge with
GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto

At its core, marriage is about the love and commitment of two people, people who have made the choice to spend their lives together.

Marriage is also a bundle of legal rights meant to protect spouses and families; an adult rite of passage; a way for two people to honor their relationship; an opportunity for family and friends to bond together; and a respected cultural institution. It is also a fundamental legal right and a personal choice—not something that should be decided by the state.

GLAD has been at the forefront of the marriage equality fight, winning marriage cases in Vermont in 1999, Massachusetts in 2003, and Connecticut in 2008. Each case has marked significant progress in the marriage movement, but it was the Massachusetts case—Goodridge v. Department of Public Health—that in 2004 resulted in the first legal marriages for same-sex couples in the country.

The experiences of Massachusetts and Connecticut show that gay and lesbian people and families can be equal citizens, embraced by the law and by their communities. GLAD continues to push forward to seek equality in marriage and every facet of life and law.



Plaintiffs Rob Compton and David Wilson talk to press

Plaintiffs Rob Compton and David Wilson talk to press. Photo: Mainframe Photographics, Inc.



Plaintiffs Maureen Brodoff and Ellen Wade celebrate the first anniversary of marriage equality with their daughter, Kate.

Plaintiffs Maureen Brodoff and Ellen Wade,
with their daugheter Kate, celebrate the first anniversary of marriage equality
in Massachusetts. Photo: Mainframe Photographics, Inc.



Plaintiffs Beth Kerrigan and Jody Mock with Attorney Ben Klein  on November 12, 2008 - the first day same-sex couples were able to marry in Connecticut

Plaintiffs Beth Kerrigan and Jody Mock with Attorney Ben Klein on November 12, 2008 -
the first day same-sex couples were able to marry in Connecticut. Photo: Glenn Koetzner

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The Dignity and Equality of All Individuals: Goodridge v. Department of Public Health

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Attorneys Mary Bonauto and Ben Klein on GLAD's landmark MA and CT marriage equality victories.
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