On Feb. 4, the highest court in Massachusetts declared the prohibition of gay marriage to be unconstitutional, becoming the first state in the United States to allow and protect same-sex marriages.
The Associated Press reported that the court was firm in their stance and that “Vermont-style civil unions wouldn’t go far enough to satisfy the court, only marriage would.”
The marriage rights would only be granted for state residents, and the details of residency would still have to be ironed out.
President Bush, however, does not share the sentiments of the court. The New York Daily News said that Bush “immediately denounced the decision and vowed to pursue legislation to protect the traditional definition of marriage.” He is supported by leaders in the Roman Catholic Church who are urging their parishioners to oppose gay marriage.
Members of the Quinnipiac University organization G.L.A.S.S. (Gay Lesbian and Straight Supporters) were thrilled to hear about the legislation. Vice President Ernesto Guardado, 21, senior accounting major, said that when he first heard about the proceedings back in October, he was concerned about Bush’s desire to protect what he referred to as the sanctity of marriage. “When I heard the news [on Feb. 4], I was even more excited because my concerns were alleviated. The state is not backing off,” Guardado said. “I just hope that the other states will follow.”
Freshman Alixandra Colatrella, 18, media production major, shared the enthusiasm of her VP, but also had feelings of frustration at the slow nature of the legislation. She said, “I think it’s sad that people are fighting this. They need to wake up and realize times are changing.” Colatrella added, “I don’t think the biggest issue in the world is two people in love wanting to spend their lives together officially.”
The New York Daily News also reported that according to the 2000 census, Massachusetts is among states with the highest concentrations of gay households in the country with 1.3 percent of total coupled households. Outside of the U.S., Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands have all changed their marriage laws to allow for gay couples.
One G.L.A.S.S. member feels that although the developments are important they will not be dictating his life. Sophomore Shane Brandenburg, 20, media production major, said, “This is a progressive step, but I don’t really care what happens. I don’t need marriage to know that I love somebody.”