From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on Massachusetts Court Decision on Gay Marriage

November 21, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the ruling this week by the Massachusetts Supreme Court on gay marriage:

"This week, the Massachusetts Supreme Court held that gays and lesbians in long-term, committed relationships deserve basic protections under the law.

"All Americans should have the ability to make their own decisions about their personal lives and to live free from discrimination. This ruling will help end discrimination in Massachusetts against lesbian and gay couples regarding pension benefits, medical insurance, hospital visitation, and inheritance rights.

"Throughout my 16 years in Congress, I have fought for non-discrimination and other protections for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. We must have equal rights and protections for all people, including legal recognition of committed relationships and the freedom to live without fear of employment discrimination and hate-related crimes.

"Throughout history, our courts have made landmark decisions with regard to civil rights that seemed inconceivable in their time. We must continue to educate people to bring our country closer to the ideal of equality and non-discrimination for all Americans that is both our heritage and our hope."




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