Maura Healey recently announced her bid for governor of Massachusetts. Healey is an immensely popular figure in the state, having served as attorney general since 2014. She won the attorney general seat in 2014 as an underdog, but she approaches the governorship race as one of the top dogs. 

“I’ve stood with you as the people’s lawyer, and now I’m running to be your governor to bring us together and come back stronger than ever,” Maura Healey announced. Healey suggested that she would focus on child care, the economy, schools, and climate change. 

Maura Healey is the first openly gay attorney general in the United States. 

Maura’s partner, Gabrielle Wolohojian, is an associate justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court

Gabrielle Wolohojian and Maura Healey

It’s unclear whether Maura and Gabrielle are married: most publications to Gabrielle as Maura’s long-term partner. 

Gabrielle Wolohojian graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University in 1982. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. 

Wolohojian’s first stint in the judiciary came after graduation from law school. She served as a clerk to Judge Ryan Zobel of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts and later to Judge Bailey Aldrich of the U.S. Court of Appeals. 

In the early 90s, she joined the litigation department of Boston law firm Hale and Dorr. She left the firm for sixteen months to investigate the former governor of Arkansas, Jim Guy Tucker, before returning to private practice. 

Governor Deval Patrick appointed Gabrielle to the Appeals Court in February 2008 to serve as an associate justice. 

Healey successfully fought for the recognition of same-sex marriage in the U.S

In 2009, Healey, as head of the AG’s civil rights division, filed a case challenging the legality of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which limited marriage to one woman and one man. 

The law denied benefits to same-sex couples in Massachusetts who were legally permitted to wed since 2004. Healey argued that the federal law encroached on state authority and forced the state to discriminate against its citizens. 

Healey won: a federal judge declared the federal law unconstitutional. Three years later, Healey’s arguments persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage. Maura talked to InStyle about her momentous victory:

“I had the chance to bring the country’s first successful lawsuit challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which discriminated against same-sex couples. We took that case up to the Supreme Court and won, and it helped change the landscape for equality across the country and for same-sex couples.”