Massachusetts high court reaffirms marriage ruling
May 11 2004 12:00 AM ET
Massachusetts's highest court on Friday unanimously rejected an appeal by 13 state lawmakers to reverse its November decision legalizing gay marriage in Massachusetts as of May 17. The lawmakers had argued that the supreme judicial court lacked jurisdiction in the case under the state constitution. Instead, they argued, only the legislature and governor are empowered to determine marriage laws. The court ruled Friday that the motion was untimely, because the case had already been decided; that the same arguments had been raised by others and rejected during the court process; and that the assertion that the court had no jurisdiction was erroneous. "It was within the court's jurisdiction to resolve an adversary case requiring interpretation of the constitution and a determination of the validity of our laws," the court wrote. A similar claim, filed by former Boston mayor and Vatican ambassador Ray Flynn, will be heard in Suffolk superior court next week.
"This is the fourth time that the court has affirmed its clear decision that the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage violates the constitution. We now look forward to May 17 being a day when gay and lesbian couples will finally be full and equal citizens," read a statement from the Boston-based advocacy group Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, which brought the marriage case before the court.