Following a Massachusetts Supreme Court decision in November 2003 which found that homosexuals had the right under the state constitution to marry, same-sex couples began legally exchanging civil vows today.

Earlier this year, officials in some local jurisdictions in California, New York, and Oregon issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples as acts of civil disobedience. These licenses were not accepted by state-level officials and thus are not legally binding.

The civil marriages in Massachusetts mark the first time that homosexual couples have been permitted to enter into civil marriage legally in the United States, and it makes the US only the fourth country which allows the civil marriage of same-sex couples.