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US state rules in favour of gay marriage

Boston, Nov. 18 (Reuters): Massachusetts’ highest court ruled today that the state must give gay and lesbian couples the legal rights of marriage, granting them broader rights than same-sex couples in any other state.

In a 4-3 ruling that could make Massachusetts the first state to legalise gay marriage, the Supreme Judicial Court stopped short of ordering the state to start issuing them marriage licenses. It said the state may not deny the rights conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.

“Barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution,” the court said.

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