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Gay Marriage Timeline

January 3, 1996: The Defense of Marriage Act is signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

November 18, 2003: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules that same-sex couples have a legal right to marry under the Masaschusetts Constitution.

February 4, 2004: The Mass. Supreme Court rejects the civil union bill.

February 11-12: Massachusetts holds its first session of constitutional convention; three amendments to ban same-sex marriage are voted down.

March 11: Second session of constitutional convention.

March 29: Third session of constitutional convention; amendment to ban same-sex marriage and establish civil unions approved.

May 17: Marriages between two people of the same sex will become legal.

2005-06: The legislature will vote on the same-sex marriage amendment; if a majority approves amendment, it will go to a popular voter on the ballot.

November 2006: The earliest that the amendment can be presented to the voters and same-sex marriage can become illegal.