Massachusetts celebrates ten years of gay marriage

Sun. May 18, 2014 11:36 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Boston, MA - It was ten years ago on Saturday that the first gay and lesbian couples in America legally exchanged vows in Massachusetts.

It was on May 17, 2004 that celebrations erupted in town halls across Massachusetts as the first gay couples married after the state Supreme Court ruled a gay marriage ban unconstitutional. The scenes were cheerful as hundreds of well wishers rushed to witness history unfold before their eyes.

Peg Preble & Robyn Ochs were among the first couples to marry.

"It was a beautiful day and a beautiful moment and I was feeling so embraced," Ochs told the AP.

"You know what, we got married on May 17, 2004, and on May 18 the buses still ran, children still had to go to school, the grocery store still had food on the shelves, the sky didn't fall. And as time has past, it's really become no big deal," she added.

Since then, 16 other states plus the District of Columbia have followed suit.

In Massachusetts, the fight went on until 2007, when lawmakers decided to abandon efforts to re-ban such unions with a constitutional amendment as support grew.

The next year, lawmakers paved over an obscure 1913 law that banned non-residents from marrying in the state if the marriage was not recognized in their home state.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine