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One Boston Attorney At The Forefront Of Gay Marriage Push

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Mary Bonauto reads through the Goodridge decision outside the John Adams courthouse in Boston on Nov. 18, 2003. (Marilyn Humphries)

One of the key figures in the gay civil rights movement is a Boston attorney not widely known outside of legal circles: Mary Bonauto.

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, which Bonauto successfully argued on behalf of seven same-sex couples.

For that case and several others, Bonauto has been called the Thurgood Marshall of the gay rights movement. Marshall argued against racial segregation in schools and later became a Supreme Court justice.

Bonauto appreciates the compliment, but points to hundreds of others who have helped gay marriage become legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

We share Bonauto’s story. A timeline of her role in the movement is below:


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