Eleven years ago, Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The US Supreme Court’s decision declaring same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to join the 36 other states that already allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, and stop enforcing a ban on  same-sex marriage.

Legal scholar Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earn Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University School of Law, tells WGBH host Bob Seay that Massachusetts’s decision on gay marriage was pivotal in this ruling.

Yoshino, who recently published his third book titled, Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial, says, “I think it was crucial…we often say in constitutional law…that the state’s are laboratories of experimentation.  And in 2003 when Massachusetts had same sex marriage…. there was a headline in the Boston Globe after marriage had been validated after a year… that said the sky doesn’t fall in Massachusetts.”

In its decision, the US Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges,  declares that the 14 Amendment requires all states to perform same-sex marriages and recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Yoshino says, “the fourteenth Amendment contains the home of both the liberty and the quality provision of the federal constitution.”

To listen to the entire interview with Kenji Yoshino and WGBH Morning Edition host Bob Seay click on the audio link above.