Happy Anniversary Massachusetts

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May 17, 2010 by D Stack

Today marks the sixth anniversary of Massachusetts becoming the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. Despite some dire predictions made at the time we seem to have survived the experience. Massachusetts continues to have the lowest divorce rate of any of the fifty states. It hasn’t been a massive political wedge issue – during the recent senate campaign between Martha Coakley and Scott Brown it barely earned any mention. And on a personal level my marriage to my wife seems to have suffered no ill effects.

Amusingly, it has also been good for the economy of Massachusetts – nothing to get too excited about, but those extra weddings do bring in extra revenue…

On a more serious note, while at the state level same-sex spouses now have far easier access to services such as insurance, they are in the unusual circumstance where, due to the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, their marriage can be unrecognized as they cross the country. For example, neighboring Rhode Island won’t even guarantee the survivor will be given the corpse after the death of one partner in a same-sex marriage. Massachusetts has sued the federal government for refusing to recognize the marriages that Massachusetts does as a violation of the 10th amendment of the US Constitution.

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