Ten Years Later, 85 Percent Of Massachusetts Voters Say No Harm From Marriage Equality

CREDIT: AP Photo/Bizuayehu Tesfaye

Cheryl Andrews, left, and her partner Jennifer Jermack, both from Provinctown, Ma., kiss as they leave Provincetown Town Hall Monday, May 17, 2004, after filing their intentions to marry. Some of the couples will seek a waiver of the usual three-day waiting period, and exchange vows that same day, in the first state-sanctioned gay weddings in America.(AP Photo/Bizuayehu Tesfaye)When the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 2003 that same-sex couples had a right to marriage equality under the state’s constitution, critics claimed the ruling would have chilling effects on society. But ten years later, a new poll shows that 85 percent of Bay State voters say the ruling has had either a positive or neutral effect on their lives.

One Massachusetts resident told the Boston Globe after the 2003 ruling, that it was “four judges basically turning society inside out with no input from anybody else.” Catholic League president William Donohue warned that the decision opened the door to incestuous marriage and polygamy.

But marriage equality has not turned society inside out, nor has the promised parade of horribles has not come to pass. Massachusetts now has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, same-sex families now enjoy full legal protections, and the Boston Red Sox have the best record in Major League Baseball.

And even 66 percent of Massachusetts Republicans concede marriage equality has had no negative effect on them. According to the PPP poll, Massachusetts voters now support same-sex marriage by an overwhelming 60 to 29 percent margin.