On Nov. 19, in a 4-3 split decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the highest state court, has ruled that denial of marriage to homosexual persons violates the state’s constitution. It has given the legislature 180 days to alter its legislation to reflect the court’s decision.

The case was a ploy by homosexual activists in the U.S. copying the maneuvers of homosexual activists in Canada who were successful in their court challenges to force homosexual ‘marriage.’ Lesbian couple Julie and Hillary Goodridge, and six other homosexual couples challenged the law with the backing of homosexual activist groups.

The case referred to as Goodridge et al v. Department of Public Health, was expected to be the first state ruling forcing homosexual ‘marriage’ since the Massachusetts court has shown pro-homosexual judicial activism with past rulings. As early as 1993 the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state must allow co-parenting by homosexual couples. In 1999 the court ruled that a former lesbian partner was a “de facto” parent of the child and gave the non-biologically related woman visiting rights. In fact, in the dissenting opinion Cordy et al. warn, albeit overly politely, that their colleagues are engaging in judicial activism.

“Although it may be desirable for many reasons to extend to same-sex couples the benefits and burdens of civil marriage (and the plaintiffs have made a powerfully reasoned case for that extension), that decision must be made by the Legislature, not the court,” reads the dissenting opinion.

The ruling will likely not go to the U.S. Supreme Court since it took issue with the state constitution. However, the court’s action will spur more action on the federal Protection of Marriage legislation which seeks to prevent states from being forced to recognize homosexual ‘marriages’ undertaken in other states.