In February of 2004, I was attending Suffolk University Law School in Boston and interning in the Massachusetts House Counsel’s Office. On February 11, the Massachusetts Legislature met in joint session as a constitutional convention. The topic that made Massachusetts the epicenter of the political world that day was whether same-sex couples should have the right to marry. Thanks mostly to the House Counsel’s love for Ivor, my first dog guide, my girlfriend at the time and I were able to attend the constitutional convention.
The debate lasted for six scary, exciting, and fascinating hours. I never had such a difficult time holding my tongue. Sometimes, I wanted to boo those supporting discrimination. Sometimes, I wanted to cheer those speaking passionately about equality. Sometimes, stories of heartbreak made me want to scream.
By the end of the night, two amendments that sought to enshrine discrimination in Massachusetts’s constitution had been defeated.
The next day, another attempt to use the oldest constitution in the United States as a mode of discrimination was defeated. As long as I live, I’ll never forget walking out of the Statehouse to crowds of people singing, cheering, and celebrating. My girlfriend and I stood there enjoying the fact that we had been privileged to a front row seat to the kind of history that makes history worth knowing.
Here is an article from Wikipedia about same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.