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Friday, July 21, 2006

Goodridges, plaintiffs in gay marriage case, have split.

The front page of the Boston Globe reports this morning that Hillary and Julie Goodridge, the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit that brought same-sex marriage to Massachusetts, have separated. Hillary is program director for the Unitarian Universalist Funding Panel; the couple were married by UUA President William G. Sinkford at the UUA headquarters in Boston. From the Globe:

Mary Breslauer, a spokeswoman for the couple, confirmed the separation last night. She said the couple are focused now on trying to do what is best for their daughter, Annie, 10.

"Julie and Hillary Goodridge are amicably living apart," Breslauer said in a telephone interview. "As always their number one priority is raising their daughter, and like the other plaintiff couples in this case, they made an enormous contribution toward equal marriage. But they are no longer in the public eye, and request that their privacy be respected."

Breslauer said they have not filed for divorce. She would not comment on their plans and offered no other details.

The story also notes that since May 2004 there have been 7,300 same-sex marriages in Massachusetts; approximately 45 have since filed for divorce.

("After 2 years, same-sex marriage icons split up," Michael Levenson, Boston Globe 7.21.06, reg req'd; see also "Julie and Hillary Goodridge, lead plaintiffs in Mass. marriage lawsuit, have separated," Susan Ryan-Vollmar, Bay Windows 7.20.06)

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 21 July 2006 at 7:51 AM

Previous: Democracy is on the march. So is God.
Next: This week at uuworld.org: Resist reasonable atrocity.

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6 comments:

Steve Caldwell:

July 21, 2006 08:40 AM | Permalink for this comment

Gee ... the Globe headline ("After 2 years, same-sex marriage icons split up") isn't really accurate, is it?

Weren't the Goodridges together for 17 years before they were legally allowed to marry? A 19 year relationship ending here is closer to the truth than the Globe headline.

revp:

July 21, 2006 03:36 PM | Permalink for this comment

I can't imagine what it's like to separate a 19-year relationship and know that the vulnerability of your family will be broadcast on the AP wire.

May they be held in care in this tender time, and may we all thank them mightily for their courage in putting their own relationship in the public eye for so long. Let's give them some peace now.

PeaceBang:

July 22, 2006 07:02 PM | Permalink for this comment

I had so many mixed feelings when I saw the headline. Like, "Is this really news?" and "OH, MERDE" (because the anti-marriage equality people might be caddish enough to use it) and "Gosh, what a violation of their privacy."

I wish them all well.

Jamie Goodwin:

July 23, 2006 01:21 AM | Permalink for this comment

First let me say I am sorry to hear that they have split.

I would be curious to know what the average divorce rate for non-same-sex marriages was in the last 2 years because 45 out of 7300 is something like half of one percent... actually a much lower number than I expected.

Philocrites:

July 23, 2006 03:05 PM | Permalink for this comment

Eileen McNamara writes in today's Globe:

No married couple is meant to live under a microscope. Not Brad and Jen, not Charles and Diana, not Julie and Hillary Goodridge. . . .

The Goodridges were the poster couple for same-sex marriage, chosen by lawyers as schooled in public relations as they were in discrimination law. Attractive, professional women — 49-year-old Julie runs an investment firm, and Hillary, 50, works for the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program. Telegenic and articulate, they had been together as a committed couple for 17 years before the state legally recognized their union. Living in a lovely Victorian house, they had been parenting their daughter, Annie, for seven of those years.

The lawsuit that would win them the right to marry would confer that same right on the men in boas marching in the annual Gay Pride parade, but it was the Goodridges that were meant to be the face of same-sex marriage. . . .

It takes broad shoulders to carry a social movement. No single person, no single couple should bear that load alone, even symbolically.

More than 7,000 couples have married since same-sex marriage won legal recognition in Massachusetts. Most of those unions are the successful culmination of deep and abiding commitments. Some of those unions have frayed at the edges. But no marriage carried the dual pressure of private promise and public symbol as that of Julie and Hillary Goodridge.

My heart aches for both of them — and for their daughter.

("A heavy, symbolic load," Eileen McNamara, Boston Globe 7.23.06, reg req'd)

Philocrites:

July 25, 2006 08:37 AM | Permalink for this comment

E.J. Graff, in a Boston Globe op-ed today:

May the Commonwealth of Massachusetts nevertheless keep its pledge to its citizens to treat all couples equally — straight, lesbian, gay — in good times and in bad, for richer and for poorer, whenever and for whatever reasons they need to lean on the marriage laws. Because couples scarcely need those laws during the joyous honeymoon years; rather, they need marriage's legal protections during the harder times of disease and disaster, or when building a house of financial security for their children, or after they're parted whether by death, or after stumbling on Heartbreak Hill.

("Till hardships do all of us part," E.J. Graff, op-ed, Boston Globe 7.25.06, reg req'd)



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