Connecticut Overturns Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

Becomes the third State in the US to allow same-sex marriage

Woot! The Supreme Court of Connecticut has delivered a ruling that overturns the State’s ban on same-sex marriage, determining that same-sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry under the State’s constitution. This means that Connecticut is now the third State in the United States of America to allow same-sex marriage, the second State to allow same-sex marriage this year alone:


Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have the right to marry, making the state the third behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions. The divided court ruled 4-3 that gay and lesbian couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry under the state constitution, and Connecticut’s civil unions law does not provide those couples with the same rights as heterosexual couples. “I can’t believe it. We’re thrilled, we’re absolutely overjoyed. We’re finally going to be able, after 33 years, to get married,” said Janet Peck of Colchester, who was a plaintiff with her partner, Carole Conklin. Connecticut will join Massachusetts and California as the only state to allow same-sex couples to marry. “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 Richard N. Palmer wrote in the majority opinion that overturned a lower court finding. “To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others,” Palmer wrote. Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Friday that she disagreed, but will not fight the ruling. “The Supreme Court has spoken,” Rell said in a statement. “I do not believe their voice reflects the majority of the people of Connecticut. However, I am also firmly convinced that attempts to reverse this decision — either legislatively or by amending the state Constitution — will not meet with success.” The lawsuit was brought in 2004 after eight same-sex couples were denied marriage licenses and sued, saying their constitutional rights to equal protection and due process were violated. They said the state’s marriage law, if applied only to heterosexual couples, denied them of the financial, social and emotional benefits of marriage. Peck said that as soon as the decision was announced, the couple started crying and hugging while juggling excited phone calls from her brother and other friends and family. “We’ve always dreamed of being married,” she said. “Even though we were lesbians and didn’t know if that would ever come true, we always dreamed of it.”

This is such amazing news! I am so thrilled that slowly but surely, equal rights for all are being recognized for citizens of the US. You can absolutely feel the winds of change blowing over our Nation … socially, it’s an exciting time to be an American. We are very close to electing our first African-American President and State by State same-sex couples are being allowed to marry just like heterosexual couples. Truly the belief that “All men are created equal” is starting to sink in ;) You may recall that the California Supreme Court also legalized same-sex marriage back in May and same-sex couples began to marry here in June. Almost immediately after, those opposed to same-sex marriage worked to get a propostion on the November ballot to ban same-sex marriage in California. It is IMPERATIVE that Californians VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 8 so that same-sex couples aren’t, once again, treated as second class citizens. It just makes common sense that ALL CITIZENS of this great country be allowed to marry. I really believe that we will get there one day, when the notion of same-sex marriage isn’t given a second thought. I’m sure that we will, one day, live in a country that treats all of its citizens equally — we’re just 47 States away now. Well done, Connecticut!!!

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  1. What a concept… legalizing the constitution!!!!

  2. Lin

    pk, I thought the same thing, but… check out Obama’s website and the HRC website… Although he is not publically acknowledging his stance yet, it looks like he will aid in overturning gay marriage bans. Sadly, stating that view right now would probably alienate him from some voters, so he is staying fairly quiet on the issue. (It’s promising!!!)

  3. Caroline in Toronto

    I think it’s fabulous, and about time. Americans should have the same rights to same-sex marriage as we Canadians do :)

  4. ac

    I am proud to be from Connecticut today! Trent, now next time you are in NYC visiting David you guys can drive over the state line and get hitched. :)

  5. emily

    Wooo hoo! Yea Connecticut! I love the change…..it is a brewing!

  6. majory

    We’re praising this news beacuse….? The supreme court has once again vetoed it’s citizens and made their own law illegaly. Is this something I’m supposed to look forward to in the future? The state deciding our rules regardless of it’s people? which ever side of the fence you sit on considering ANY issue, it’s ILLEGAL and WRONG to make habit of this. More than that, it’s dangerous.
    This is a big slap in the face to our democracy and I for one refuse to be duped in this scheme.

  7. It is not “illegal” for courts to interpret the laws … that is what they do. When the Constitution says that no citizen should be treated unequally than any sub laws that seek to do just that can be invalidated (as they have in Mass. Cal. and now Conn.). I’m sorry you don’t understand how the justice system works in this country. If the US Constitution is amended to spell out the outlawing of same-sex marriage then no sublaw would be able to make it legal. Fortunately, there aren’t enough hateful, ignorant people in this country to ever allow the amending of the US Constitution to deny rights to its citizens.

  8. an intelligent reader

    To back up what Trent is saying, Marjory, it is quite simple. This is a quote coming straight from an email of one of the attorneys in CT who works for the firm that represented the 8 gay and lesbian couples who wanted to marry: “Sexual orientation is a ‘quasi-suspect’ class under the EP Clauses of our state constitution; therefore, denying same-sex couples the right to marry doesn’t survive the heightened scrutiny that comes w/ quasi-suspect classification.” Basically, yes, all states are allowed to interpret the law based on THEIR own constitutions as well. I hate to contribute to a potential shitstorm in the midst of the celebratory atmosphere, but I had to throw that in. Please don’t make comments such as yours without doing the research first. I know this isn’t the NY Times website or anything but you really come off sounding like quite an ignorant moron. Hooray for CT!

  9. Trent I love you, but you are coming off very condescending in your reply to Marjory (“I’m sorry you don’t understand how the jsutice system works in this country”). It’s disapointing, especially after hearing you praised for being a class act. Just because we disagree with your opinion, does not mean we are wrong. I agree with Marjory…it’s scary that the will of the people can be overturned by the judges.
    I am voting YES on Proposition 8. I invite all Californians to look into the issue for themselves, not just do what your gay friend or your Pastor says. Study it, make a decision, and VOTE, but please don’t persecute people for having different views than you do. Tolerance is a two-way street.

  10. Bekah

    Amen, Heather.

  11. Jaci

    It’s a little idealistic to think the will of the people should always be top priority in my opinion. If it was totally up to the will of the people, segregation would probably still be a totally acceptable idea. I think in some cases, like gay marriage and other cases where issues of equality are involved, it is ABSOLUTELY necessary for the courts to step in. I mean, I believe people are changing, but I don’t see it happening fast enough. People deserve equal rights NOW, not tomorrow. If we have to use the courts to get them, then I say so be it.

    Plus, do we really want our courts to uphold laws that are inherently predjudiced? Personally, I don’t, but I don’t know about anyone else.

  12. I’m sorry but for someone to proclaim that it is “illegal” for the court to rule in this manner is flat out wrong. I’m not saying she is wrong for her belief but her assertion of the illegality is wrong. To say that she “doesn’t understand” isn’t condescending in my opinion, if you believe that it is so then so be it. I too invite everyone to determine how they will vote by researching on their own. I certainly am not persecuting anyone and am surprised that you, Heather, think that I am.

  13. ginae

    yippee connecticut!

  14. Jaci is so right. It is because of rulings of the courts that racial segregation was ended in this country. Many States had laws that forbade African-Americans from eating at certain places, drinking from certain water fountains and going to certain schools. The court found it incumbent upon them to rule those laws unconstitutional because they did not adhere to the spirit of equality that our Constitution demands. This matter is very much the same. People were very angry back when the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation was illegal — including the Governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus who ordered the State National Guard to block African American children from entering an all-white school. President Dwight Eisenhower sent in the military to enforce the law set by the court’s ruling. People can be angry here as well but I believe with all my heart that gays and lesbians will be allowed the same rights as heterosexuals. It’s already started and it will continue to happen :)

  15. coco

    Still love you, Trent! Still think you handle yourself in a classy manner! :) And PS- I am voting McCain who I feel can ALSO allow this “change” to happen. Both McCain and Palin have addressed that even though they may stand personally on the other side of this issue (which is their right to do), they want decisions like this to be decided on a state level and I think that is the quickest way to get the job done! As we have seen with the 3 states who have made it legal. So no matter what party you align yourself with, lets hope progress continues! :)

  16. coco – love you too ;) It is so easy to disagree on matters like this without all the polarization. If we all discuss these issues like respectful adults there should never be cause for heated skirmishes :) It is very refreshing to hear your perspective, coco!!

  17. Ashley

    My Uncle died of cancer before he could marry my Uncle John (his life partner, something they dearly wanted to do) and I know he would be proud of the way we are moving forward and changing (and a long overdue time for change). No on 8 :)

  18. Dusty

    I find it scary that people in California would vote yes on prop 8. What is the reasoning? I really, truly don’t understand. You read this site, know about Trent’s life, yet you don’t feel he deserves to be able to get married if he chooses to do so? Why? What concern is it of yours?

  19. Trent, to clarify, I did not mean to imply that you were persecuting anyone. I did mean to imply that you were being condescending though. ;)
    I love you, and I love your blog. I just don’t always agree with you. I feel so lucky to be an American. Election time is stressful and crazy, but it also reminds us how lucky we are. Thank goodness we don’t live in China!

  20. mmaagg

    Prop 8 persecutes, not Trent’s opinion.

  21. oscar

    At the same time Florida is passing a man-woman marriage only amendment.Gays should stay away from Florida.No Miami Beach,no Ft.Lauderdale,no Orlando,no Tampa,no Key West,no etc…Gays should show their disgust by statying away and hitting Florida where it hurts,at the pocketbook.When tourism drops and Florida businesses lose money from gay tourists they will force Tallahasse to change their minds.Come on.Boycott Florida Now.Any gay that goes as a tourist and spend money in Florida should be ashame of himself/herself.
    GAYS’S BOYCOTT FLORIDA NOW.

  22. Joanne

    Yeah – There are some SCARY things happening in Florida right now, that people need to read up on. The way they have written up bills (that make it hard for gay people to do things like adopt) mean that unmarried women (gay or straight) will be affected. People think this is just a Gay issue. WRONG!

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