With so many errors of law, logic, and procedure, what could Marshall’s Goodridge opinion have gotten right? Only one thing””she acknowledged that what the Court had done was nothing less than change the very definition of the word marriage.
Marshall wrote, “Certainly our decision today marks a significant change in the definition of marriage as it has been inherited from the common law, and understood by many societies for centuries.”
Reviewing the history of marriage law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, she acknowledged that “the Legislature . . . incorporated the common-law definition of marriage into the first marriage laws nearly three centuries ago,” and declared clearly, “We have recognized the long-standing statutory understanding, derived from the common law, that ”˜marriage’ means the lawful union of a woman and a man.”