Today, in Massachusetts, this grand notion is applied to marriage.
In RI's Providence Sunday Journal (registration required), M. Charles Baskt writes:
As it happens, tomorrow -- May 17, 2004 -- also will mark another turning point in the nation's life: Because of rulings by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, gay marriage will become legal in the Bay State. Charlotte Whiting of the [RI] court's public information office says the overlap of dates is strictly a coincidence.
Lawmakers proceeded to ask if "civil unions" would be an acceptable substitute for marriage. On Feb. 4, the court said no:
"The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal. For no rational reason the marriage laws of the Commonwealth discriminate against a defined class; no amount of tinkering with language will eradicate that stain."
The judges said civil unions would maintain a "stigma of exclusion that the Constitution prohibits."
It's May 17th -- a great day for a Union.
UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan, writing in the New York Times, says it better: it's Integration Day.