Connecticut Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage

… and why that matters in California

From the Washington Blade .

The Connecticut Supreme Court today ruled that denying marriage rights to same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

Connecticut is now poised to become the nation’s third state to allow same-sex marriage, joining California and Massachusetts.

“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,” the ruling says. “To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others.

“The guarantee of equal protection under the law, and our obligation to uphold that command, forbids us from doing so. In accordance with these state constitutional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry.”

Eight same-sex couples sued, claiming their constitutional rights to equal protection and due process were violated when they were denied marriage licenses.

Update (from the Washington Post): “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.”

My initial impression of this, apart from the correctness of the decision, is that this will bring the wing nuts out of their closet and make it more likely that Proposition 8, currently headed for passage, even more likely to pass.

Take a moment to celebrate with the people of the Granite State. Then we must redouble our efforts here in California to defeat the initiative. Check in at No On 8. Make phone calls. Give them some money.

This truly is as serious as a heart attack.

Update #2: Link to the court’s opinion. Link to dissenting opinion. Link to another dissenting opinion. Link to third dissenting opinion. Note that these opinions are PDF files.  Wow, it would appear that even the dissenters couldn’t agree with one another.

  2 comments for “Connecticut Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage

  1. kevin
    October 21, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Just for the record, New Hampshire is the granite state. Connecticut is the constitution state. =)

  2. October 22, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Kevin, you are correct and I actually do appreciate you pointing it out. Thank you. And as I was reading your comment and considering the nature of the opinion, Constitution State is even better. Again, thanks.

Comments are closed.