... 2004 (5 years ago today), the state's highest tribunal, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, held that a bill that would have allowed same-sex civil unions did not meet the liberty and equality guarantees of the state's Constitution. In so doing the court reconfirmed its decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (2003). The ruling paved the way for gay marriages. There'd been 10,000 as of mid-2008 -- among them the wedding at right of the original plaintiffs, Hillary and Julie Goodridge.
... 1985, on the 1st day it was opened for signature at U.N. headquarters in New York, 21 countries signed the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The treaty, the scope and meaning of which have been hotly debated post-9/11, and entered into force on June 26, 1987. It now has 146 states parties -- among them, since 1994, the United States. (credit for 2008 map depicting all states parties in dark green, signatories in light green, and parties outside the CAT regime in grey)