12th anniversary of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts

22News spoke with residents about the changes they've seen in the last decade

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)-   It’s the 12th anniversary for same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, and while many I spoke with today said it marks a significant advancement, it also signifies an outcome to keep pushing for change.

Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in Massachusetts since May 17th, 2004. To date more than 20,000 same-sex couples have married in Massachusetts.

Northampton is known as one of the largest LGBT communities throughout the commonwealth, and 12 years ago hundreds of people lined up on the steps of city hall to make their partnerships official.

JM Sorrell, is a Justice of the Peace, who was there that day and has married more than 705 couples, about 70 percent of them being same-sex couples. “Everyone seemed to know that it was bigger than Massachusetts, that it was the beginning of a lot of things to come around the country and the world,” Sorrell said.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that no state may prohibit same-sex couples from getting married, but there are many who believe there is more to be done.

Shauna Santos-Dempsey, of Ludlow said,  “I think we have a long way to go in this country and in this world, but I think we are slowly but surely getting there and it’s a beautiful thing.”

Members of the LGBT community say the main topic of discussion now has been the rights of people who are transgender and the bathrooms they can use.

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