Goodridge v. Department of Public Health
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
798 N.E.2d 941 (2003)
Seven same-sex couples in committed relationships including Hillary and Julie Goodridge (plaintiffs) filed individual lawsuits against the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (Department) (defendant) after being denied marriage licenses. Plaintiffs espoused the desire to marry in order to affirm their commitments publicly and to obtain legal and other benefits. The Department defended its position on the grounds that (1) the principal purpose of marriage is procreation, (2) marriage between heterosexual couples provides the best environment for child rearing, and (3) barring same-sex marriage is needed to conserve state and private resources. The trial court ruled in favor of the Department, and plaintiffs appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, C.J.)
Dissent (Spina, J.)
Dissent (Sosman, J.)
Dissent (Cordy, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.