The Battle Over Gay Marriage

It's official: gays can marry in Massachusetts come may. A TIME report on how it happened, what it means--and how it may play out in the race for the White House

Our marriages often provoke us to throw the china and utter the unforgivables. The context is usually personal, not political, but either way, passions run high. In May, barring some unforeseen procedural hindrance, gay couples will wed for the first time ever in the U.S. They will have that opportunity by order of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which ruled last week that it is unconstitutional to deny them marriage licenses. Gays and lesbians across the country celebrated. Hundreds of gay people have already called or e-mailed town clerk Doug Johnstone in Provincetown, Mass., to ask when they can marry. One...

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