BOSTON, June 30, 2004 ( – The First Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to issue an order stopping same-sex marriages in Massachusetts. The lawsuit was brought by Liberty Counsel on behalf of Robert Largess, a Massachusetts citizen, and eleven Massachusetts legislators.

On November 18, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued its opinion in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. The Court stayed its decision for 180 days to allow the Massachusetts Legislature time to respond to the decision. The Legislature responded by passing an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman only. Under Massachusetts law, the earliest the voters can vote to approve the amendment is 2006. In the meantime, the decision went into effect Monday, May 17.  Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel for Liberty Counsel who represented Mr. Largess and the legislators said, “We will continue to press this case to the United States Supreme Court . . . The battle over same-sex marriage is far from over. In fact, it is just beginning. The circumstances in Massachusetts underscore the need for a federal constitutional amendment to preserve marriage between one man and one woman.”  Jhw