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judge dies; opposed legalizing same-sex marriage

judge dies; opposed legalizing same-sex marriage

Martha B. Sosman, one of three Massachusetts supreme judicial court judges who dissented from the landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, died Saturday. She was 56.

Family members said the cause of death was respiratory failure, according to a statement from Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall.

Sosman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and had been participating in some cases by watching Webcasts of oral arguments, reading legal briefs at home, and talking with other justices and law clerks by telephone.

In 2003, when a high court ruling made Massachusetts the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, Sosman wrote a strenuous dissent for the court's minority. In her opinion she belittled the majority's advisory opinion, saying that it ''merely repeats the impassioned rhetoric'' of marriage equality advocates.

Sosman was a former assistant U.S. attorney in Massachusetts and founded an all-women law firm in 1989, where she worked until she was appointed to the superior court in 1993. (AP)

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