Massachusetts Court Strikes Down Homosexual-Marriage Ban

BOSTON, Massachusetts, NOV. 18, 2003 ( Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that the state must give homosexual couples the legal rights of marriage, which could make the state the first in America to grant such status.

In a 4-3 ruling, the Supreme Judicial Court said Massachusetts cannot deny civil marriage rights to two people of the same sex who wish to marry, although it stopped short of ordering the state to start issuing marriage licenses, Reuters reported.

The court put its decision on hold for 180 days to give the Legislature a chance to bring state marriage laws in line with the ruling.