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Letter from Mayor Wu Celebrating 20th Anniversary of Same-Sex Marriage in Massachusetts

Dear Friends,

Twenty years ago this month, Massachusetts became the first state in America to license and recognize same-sex marriages. That decision changed the course of history and continues to shape the landscape of LGBTQ+ rights across the Commonwealth and across our nation. In Massachusetts, we are proud to have issued the country’s first same-sex marriage licenses on May 17, 2004.

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of love winning, we honor the courage and resilience of those who made this historic victory possible: The countless LGBTQ+ elders and young people; couples and allies who refused to give up on their vision of a world where love isn’t a crime. We are grateful for the tireless efforts of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), the unwavering dedication of the plaintiff couples, and the invaluable support of so many Massachusetts residents who lifted their voices in support of marriage equality. 

Unfortunately, stigma and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community persists today. In Massachusetts, one in three LGBTQ+ youth of color are unemployed and food insecure, and one in six don’t have stable housing. This year alone, state legislatures across the country have introduced more than 500 bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community.

So, as we mark this historic date in civil rights history, we do so with gratitude for all those who paved the way for the countless couples who have exchanged vows, built families, and shared their lives together in love over the past two decades. And we do so by reaffirming our commitment, as a City, to make Boston a home for everyone—a home where all our residents are safe to live and love freely.

With love, gratitude, and determination,

Michelle Wu

Mayor of Boston

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