Goodridge v. Department of Public Health
In Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, 440 Mass. 309 (2003), the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared it to be unconstitutional for the legislature not to grant same-sex marriage licenses. The Court, in an extraordinary order, gave the Massachusetts legislature 180 days to pass a law favoring of same-sex marriage.
The decision split 4-3, with the swing vote relying on the state Equal Rights Amendment. Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, a native of South Africa, cited a Canadian court in her opinion. One writer for the journal Legal Affairs described Marshall as "an advocate of mining the work of foreign courts," professor Martha Minow, who has long known Justice Marshall, said that Goodridge "is like a South Africa decision."
- Emily Bazelon, "A Bold Stroke," Legal Affairs and Harvard law, May-June 2004.