At the time of those first weddings, the debate was red-hot - protests were frequent, expectations ran high that legislators would allow a referendum on whether to overturn the court ruling ordering same-sex marriage. Now, although Roman Catholic leaders and some conservative activists remain vocally opposed, there is overwhelming political support for same-sex marriage and no prospect for a referendum.
According to the latest state figures, through September 2008, there had been 12,167 same-sex marriages in Massachusetts - 64 percent of them between women - out of 170,209 marriages in all. Some consequences have been tangible - a boom for gay-friendly wedding businesses, the exit of a Roman Catholic charity from the adoption business - and some almost defy description.
"Having your committed relationships recognized - to say it's deeply meaningful is to trivialize it," said Mary Bonauto, lead lawyer in the landmark lawsuit. "I know people who'd been together 20 years who say, 'Getting married - it knocked my socks off.'"