Same-sex marriage is a widely used term now. But in the early 1970s, there were zero states banning or allowing same-sex marriage, and no states offered civil unions or domestic partnerships. Massachusetts' role in bringing same-sex marriage to the US was part of a much bigger effort:
The Supreme Court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. The court's ruling meant the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, would have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court's previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996. The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration. But some state officials and county clerks might decide there is little risk in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.