Statement on Mass. Court Ruling
Madison, WI, February 04, 2004
“I believe firmly that we must do everything in our power to assure that all citizens of the United States are afforded equal rights under the law-and that includes gay as well as straight couples. As Governor of Vermont, I was proud to sign the nation's first law establishing civil unions for same-sex couples. Today's decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court represents a different approach to the same goal. One way or another, states should afford same-sex couples equal treatment under law in areas such as health insurance, hospital visitation and inheritance rights.
“Some in Washington will use this decision to justify the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This would be the first constitutional amendment to authorize discrimination, and I oppose it. Marriage is a matter of state law, and gay bashing has no place in the Constitution.”