For Immediate Release - May 17, 2007

GOVERNOR PATRICK CELEBRATES 3RD ANNIVERSARY OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY

GOVERNOR PATRICK CELEBRATES 3RD ANNIVERSARY OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY

BOSTON-Thursday, May 17, 2007-In honor of the third anniversary of marriage equality in Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick today proclaimed May 17, 2007 Marriage Equality Day.

"I wish all those who are marking the occasion this year a very happy anniversary," Governor Patrick said. "The people of this Commonwealth have, throughout history, been thought of as progressive, forward-thinking citizens, and I am proud that Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to recognize the fundamental right of all of our citizens to love and marry whomever they choose."

More than 8,500 gay and lesbian couples have married in Massachusetts since 2004, following the Supreme Judicial Court's decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health recognizing that same-sex couples have the right to wed.

Governor Patrick has pledged to help defeat a proposed ban on gay marriage currently pending before the Legislature and has called on state lawmakers to oppose the amendment when it is voted on later this year.

"Marriage equality has been a part of life in Massachusetts for three years now. We can see clearly that the sky hasn't fallen," Governor Patrick said. "People, I think, have moved past this debate. And I want very much to avoid the divisive, circus-like atmosphere that will accompany this referendum.

"We have never used the ballot process to limit individual freedoms and personal privacy and I believe that the proposal before the legislature would do just that. We must ensure that our constitution will continue to stand for liberty and freedom, and not discrimination."

Governor Patrick will attend a celebration hosted by MassEquality to mark the third anniversary of marriage equality Thursday evening.

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