Here's a Look Back at the First Gay Couples to Get Married in America

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On Friday, Cambridge City Hall in Massachusetts is holding a celebration to mark the 10th anniversary of gay marriage in the state and this country. Cambridge was the first city in Massachusetts to offer marriage licenses to same sex couples on May 17, 2004. Mitt Romney was the governor at the time, and he opposed gay marriage, along with a majority of the country — in May 2004, 55 percent of Americans thought gay marriages should not be legal.

As The New York Times reported then,

... the [state] Legislature, with a large number of Democrats who are against gay marriage, some because of their Catholic faith, was not pleased with the court's 4-to-3 decision. First, the legislators voted to ask the court if allowing civil unions would comply with the ruling. In a bitingly dismissive response in February, the court said no. 

Then, in a series of marathon constitutional conventions, marked by emotional oratory, filibustering and back-room bargaining, the legislature voted in late March to approve a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage and establish civil unions.

That amendment never succeeded, and gay marriage remains legal in Massachusetts today. Here's a look back at some of the first gay couples to get married in the U.S.

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Below, the lead plaintiffs in the state's gay marriage lawsuit, Hilary and Julie Goodridge, apply for a marriage license at Boston City Hall with their daughter, Annie. (The couple later divorced.)

 Here they are running through the streets. 

And here, United Universalist Rev. Kim K. Crawford and Kem Morehead kiss during their wedding ceremony at Arlington Street Church in Boston. 

Provincetown selectman and town dentist, Cheryl Andrews, and her new wife Jennifer Germack, wave goodbye to friends after their wedding ceremony. 


Matt Miller and Jon Andersen look on as Rabbi Howard Berman signs their marriage certificate at the Arlington Street Church.

Lisa and Colleen Lippiello get married on top of Mount Holyoke in Hadley, Mass. Their four-year-old daughter Sydney watches. 

Ed Balmelli and Michael Horgan, also plaintiffs in the right to marry case, kiss after getting their marriage license at Boston City Hall.

Today, 17 states and D.C. have legalized gay marriage, and 54 percent of Americans think gay marriage should be legal

Photos via Associated Press.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.