Tina K. Russell

October 13, 2008

Conscience and courage in Connecticut court

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Tina Russell @ 6:49 pm

Gay Marriage Is Ruled Legal in Connecticut – NYTimes.com
A sharply divided Connecticut Supreme Court struck down the state’s civil union law on Friday and ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. Connecticut thus joins Massachusetts and California as the only states to have legalized gay marriages.

The ruling, which cannot be appealed and is to take effect on Oct. 28, held that a state law limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, and a civil union law intended to provide all the rights and privileges of marriage to same-sex couples, violated the constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law.

October 28th is my birthday! Thank you, Connecticut. You thought of me.

Really, you should visit the article ’cause the photograph… it will just put that fuzzy lump in your heart. It’s wonderful! Human rights does that to you.

Suddenly, couples that have been together for years or decades can finally get married, and be considered equal citizens in the eyes of the state. No longer will gay people in Connecticut have to get married on a separate “track” of some kind, raising the dark specter of “separate but equal” that had a sad history in the United States. But most of all, I just love the idea that human beings, regardless of sexual orientation or race or class or whatever, deserve equal rights and respect. The fact that the government, which plays a large role in setting the tone for society, is extending that respect is wonderful.

Let this freedom spread from state to state! Equal marriage rights for gay couples! Go forth!

Striking at the heart of discriminatory traditions in America, the court — in language that often rose above the legal landscape into realms of social justice for a new century — recalled that laws in the not-so-distant past barred interracial marriages, excluded women from occupations and official duties, and relegated blacks to separate but supposedly equal public facilities.

“Like these once prevalent views, our conventional understanding of marriage must yield to a more contemporary appreciation of the rights entitled to constitutional protection,” Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote for the majority in a 4-to-3 decision that explored the nature of homosexual identity, the history of societal views toward homosexuality and the limits of gay political power compared with that of blacks and women.

“Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same-sex partner of their choice,” Justice Palmer declared. “To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others.”

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