Gay and Lesbian Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory My Zimbio Blog Directory and Search engine
Lesbian Dating and Relationship Search

Friday, October 10, 2008

Connecticut Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage

By Andrew Ryan and Michael Levenson, Globe Staff

Connecticut became the third state to legalize same-sex marriage today in a 4-3 decision by the state Supreme Court.

In an 85-page decision issued at 11:30 a.m., the court ruled that the state had "failed to establish adequate reason to justify the statutory ban on same sex marriage."

The justices noted in the majority opinion that they recognized "as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health … that 'our decision marks a change in the history of our marriage law.'"

The case, Kerrigan v. the state Commissioner of Public Health, was brought by eight same-sex couples who were denied marriages licenses by the Madison town clerk. They argued that the state's civil union law was discriminatory and unconstitutional because it established a separate and therefore inherently unequal institution for a minority group. Citing the equal protection under the law, the state Supreme Court agreed.

"In accordance with these state constitutional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry," says the majority opinion, which was written by Justice Richard N. Palmer.

Connecticut joins California and Massachusetts, which became the first state to allow same-sex marriage 2004.

In a scathing 25-page dissenting opinion, Justice Peter T. Zarella wrote that "there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage."

"The ancient definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has its basis in biology, not bigotry," Zarella wrote. "If the state no longer has an interest in the regulation of procreation, then that is a decision for the legislature or the people of the state and not this court."

In a dissenting opinion written by Justice David M. Borden and signed by Justice Christine S. Vertefeuille, the judges wrote that, contrary to arguments made by the plaintiffs, Connecticut’s civil union law is not discriminatory.

“The development of the law in this state dealing with sexual orientation demonstrates that the legislature had no intention, in passing the civil union statute, to encourage discrimination against or to stigmatize homosexuals,” the judges wrote. “On the contrary, that history supports the conclusion that the legislature has been working toward the eventual passage of a gay marriage bill, and that the civil union statute was an important step in that process.”

In 2005, Connecticut became the first state to establish civil unions without a court order, but that measure did not end the same-sex marriage debate. The eight gay couples who were denied licenses sued the state Department of Public Health, which oversees marriage registrations.

No comments:


Blog Directory, Free online web directory, Search Engine Submission - AddMe