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Jeanette X Jeanette X is offline
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Old Oct 11th, 2008, 11:33 AM        Gay Marriage Ruled Legal in Connecticut
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/11/nyregion/11marriage.html?bl&ex=1223870400&en=a2b95ae23454dd 8c&ei=5087%0A

Gay Marriage Is Ruled Legal in Connecticut

By ROBERT D. McFADDEN
Published: October 10, 2008
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.
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.”
The ruling was groundbreaking in various respects. In addition to establishing Connecticut as the third state to sanction same-sex marriage, it was the first state high court ruling to hold that civil union statutes specifically violated the equal protection clause of a state constitution. The Massachusetts high court held in 2004 that same-sex marriages were legal, while California’s court decision in May related to domestic partnerships and not the more broadly defined civil unions.
The Connecticut decision, which elicited strong dissenting opinions from three justices, also opened the door to marriage a bit wider for gay couples in New York, where state laws do not provide for same-sex marriages or civil unions, although Gov. David A. Paterson recently issued an executive order requiring government agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The opinion in Connecticut was hailed by jubilant gay couples and their advocates as a fulfillment of years of hopes and dreams. Hugs, kisses and cheers greeted eight same-sex couples as they entered the ballroom at the Hartford Hilton, where four years ago they had announced they would file a lawsuit seeking marriage licenses.
One of those couples, Joanne Mock, 53, and her partner, Elizabeth Kerrigan, 52, stood with their twin 6-year-old sons, choking back tears of joy and gratitude. Another plaintiff, Garret Stack, 59, introduced his partner, John Anderson, 63, and said: “For 28 years we have been engaged. We can now register at Home Depot and prepare for marriage.”
Religious and conservative groups called the ruling an outrage but not unexpected, and spoke of steps to enact a constitutional ban on gay marriage. Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, blamed “robed masters” and “philosopher kings” on the court. “This is about our right to govern ourselves,” he said. “It is bigger than gay marriage.”
But the state, a principal defendant in the lawsuit, appeared to be resigned to the outcome.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell said that she disagreed with the decision, but would uphold it. “The Supreme Court has spoken,” she said. “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.”
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said his office was reviewing the decision to determine whether laws and procedures will have to be revised — local officials will issue marriage licenses to gay couples without question, for example — but he offered no challenge and said it would soon be implemented.

(Page 2 of 2)

The case was watched far beyond Hartford. Vermont, New Hampshire and New Jersey all have civil union statutes, while Maine, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii have domestic partnership laws that allow same-sex couples many of the same rights granted to those in civil unions. Advocates for same-sex couples have long argued that civil unions and domestic partnerships denied them the financial, social and emotional benefits accorded in a marriage.
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Shana Sureck for The New York Times
Hundreds gathered outside the State Capitol in Hartford, Conn.



The legal underpinnings for gay marriages, civil unions and statutory partnerships have all come in legislative actions and decisions in lawsuits. Next month, however, voters in California will decide whether the state Constitution should permit same-sex marriage.
The Connecticut case began in 2004 after the eight same-sex couples were denied marriage licenses by the town of Madison. Reflecting the contentiousness and wide interest in the case, a long list of state, national and international organizations on both sides filed friend-of-the-court briefs. The plaintiffs contended that the denial of marriage licenses deprived them of due process and equal protection under the law.
While the case was pending, the legislature in 2005 adopted a law establishing the right of same-sex partners to enter into civil unions that conferred all the rights and privileges of marriage. But, at the insistence of the governor, the law also defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Arguments in the case centered on whether civil unions and marriages conferred equal rights, and on whether same-sex couples should be treated as what the court called a “suspect class” or “quasi-suspect class” — a group, like blacks or women, that has experienced a history of discrimination and was thus entitled to increased scrutiny and protection by the state in the promulgation of its laws.
Among the criteria for inclusion as a suspect class, the court said, were whether gay people could “control” their sexual orientation, whether they were “politically powerless” and whether being gay had a bearing on one’s ability to contribute to society.
A lower-court judge, Patty Jenkins Pittman of Superior Court in New Haven, sided with the state, denying that gay men and lesbians were entitled to special consideration as a suspect class and concluding that the differences between civil unions and marriages amounted to no more than nomenclature. The Supreme Court reversed the lower-court ruling.
“Although marriage and civil unions do embody the same legal rights under our law, they are by no means equal,” Justice Palmer wrote in the majority opinion, joined by Justices Flemming L. Norcott Jr., Joette Katz and Lubbie Harper. “The former is an institution of transcendent historical, cultural and social significance, whereas the latter is not.”
The court said it was aware that many people held deep-seated religious, moral and ethical convictions about marriage and homosexuality, and that others believed gays should be treated no differently than heterosexuals. But it said such views did not bear on the questions before the court.
“There is no doubt that civil unions enjoy a lesser status in our society than marriage,” the court said. “Ultimately, the message of the civil unions law is that what same-sex couples have is not as important or as significant as real marriage.”
In one dissenting opinion, Justice David M. Bordon contended that there was no conclusive evidence that civil unions are inferior to marriages, and he argued that gay people have “unique and extraordinary” political power that does not warrant heightened constitutional protections.
Justice Peter T. Zarella, in another dissent, argued that the state marriage laws dealt with procreation, which was not a factor in gay relationships. “The ancient definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has its basis in biology, not bigotry,” he wrote.
About 1,800 couples have obtained civil unions in Connecticut since the law was adopted three years ago, although gay-rights advocates say the demand has slowed. They cite complaints that the unions leave many people feeling not quite married but not quite single, facing forms that mischaracterize their status and questions at airports challenging their ties to their own children.
But marriage will soon be a possibility for gay couples like Janet Peck, 55, and Carol Conklin, 53, of West Hartford, who have been partners for 33 years. “I so look forward to the day when I can take this woman’s hand, look deeply into her eyes and pledge my deep love and support and commitment to her in marriage,” Ms. Peck said.


I'll bet that stupid cow on Youtube is ripping her hair out now.
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Old Oct 11th, 2008, 02:16 PM       
I guess that's kinda nice.
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Old Oct 11th, 2008, 02:35 PM       
lol the person in charge of marriage licensing in my town refused to do any marriages until the gay amrriage thing ws repealed

she also said that legalizing gay marriage would cost straight americans like a million dollars or something

i kind of wonder if it's really separate but equal to allow gays another instution for legal benefits (like civil unions). It's not like we're saying civil unions are equal to marriage, only that they give some similar benefits. Is marriage and the benefits it gives the same thing? If so, then marriage is already a legal institution. But if marriage is something different than just the (legal) benefits, then I don't think separate but equal applies to this.

ill have to read the whole article later.
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Old Oct 11th, 2008, 03:00 PM       
It's like this reporter said on the Colbert Report: "So gays can have rights...as long as they aren't gay?"

And forgive my ignorance, but if gay marriage is outlawed, wouldn't gay people still just live together or something? If heterosexual marriage was banned, men and women who loved each other would just live together in secret.
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Old Oct 11th, 2008, 07:44 PM       
yes zelda but the problem is that gays are all a bunch of queers and they have to have everything exactly like straights or it's not fair.

Mostly it seems like gays want to force t he world to admit that they exist or something ;. The ones that annoy me the most are t he ones who think the church deserves a big fuck you, and the ones who want to be a member of a church that says they are evil and will burn in hell and im pretty sure that they should be stoned ;/
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Old Oct 11th, 2008, 10:46 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeldaQueen View Post
It's like this reporter said on the Colbert Report: "So gays can have rights...as long as they aren't gay?"

And forgive my ignorance, but if gay marriage is outlawed, wouldn't gay people still just live together or something? If heterosexual marriage was banned, men and women who loved each other would just live together in secret.
Yeah, but just living together doesn't get you visitation rights to your partner's children, or tax benefits, or insurance benefits to offered to spouses, and all that other great stuff. Hence, civil unions aren't the same. Seperate but equal just doesn't work.
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Old Oct 11th, 2008, 10:49 PM       
Yeah, everybody should have the chance to be miserable.
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Old Oct 11th, 2008, 10:55 PM       
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Yeah, everybody should have the chance to be miserable.
Precisely.
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Old Oct 12th, 2008, 12:53 AM       
I don't see why they couldn't just extend the benefits to civil unions and make marriages obsolete. The only difference between marriage and a civil union should be religious/ceremonial bullshit.
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Old Oct 12th, 2008, 04:27 PM       
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Yeah, but just living together doesn't get you visitation rights to your partner's children, or tax benefits, or insurance benefits to offered to spouses, and all that other great stuff. Hence, civil unions aren't the same. Seperate but equal just doesn't work.
I know, it's not the same. But my point is that just because you're trying to block gay nature doesn't mean it's not still going to be around.

Kind of like when abortion was illegal. Women who were desperate for one just went to an illegal clinic or something which meant that basically she was getting what they didn't want and it was being done in a way more dangerous to her health.
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Old Oct 12th, 2008, 05:11 PM       
Why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone and just end marriage as a state sanctioned institution? Marriage is pretty much an arbitrary title with a bunch of legal bullshit added in and the possibility of losing 50% of everything you own.

BTW why is abortion legal but weed and prostitution not?
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Old Oct 12th, 2008, 07:58 PM       
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Why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone and just end marriage as a state sanctioned institution? Marriage is pretty much an arbitrary title with a bunch of legal bullshit added in and the possibility of losing 50% of everything you own.

BTW why is abortion legal but weed and prostitution not?
Abortion is not just used to drop an unwanted child. If the pregnancy is a danger to the mother's health, it is used as an option.

Anyway, I think abortion's a woman's choice. It's her own body.
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Old Oct 12th, 2008, 08:01 PM       
Is the fetus inside her body her own body?
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Old Oct 12th, 2008, 08:56 PM       
so how come the "my body" arguement doesn't work across the board?

and strangely it's from the same end of the fence that is also against hunting.
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Old Oct 12th, 2008, 09:06 PM       
LEGALIZE SUICIDE
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Old Oct 12th, 2008, 09:13 PM       
yah that one's sort of pointless. how can enforce it? lol you might as well make dying in general illegal
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Old Oct 12th, 2008, 11:25 PM       
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Originally Posted by Jeanette X View Post
Yeah, but just living together doesn't get you visitation rights to your partner's children, or tax benefits, or insurance benefits to offered to spouses, and all that other great stuff. Hence, civil unions aren't the same. Seperate but equal just doesn't work.
So give them the exact same protections and benefits. Exactly.

But don't call it Marriage. It's not. Not because gays aren't as good, but because marrige = man + woman. No need to change my thing to suit them.

Equal, not separate, just different.
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Old Oct 12th, 2008, 11:57 PM       
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No need to change my thing to suit them.
Why not? Why give them the same thing but call it something else? Why so much concern over semantics?
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Old Oct 13th, 2008, 01:09 AM       
Why is marriage only between a man and a woman? Because it accords with the traditional definition of marriage...?

I wouldn't give them the same thing but call it something else. that's why i said the benefits and the marriage aren't the same thing.
but that's just me.

Quote:
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Is marriage and the benefits it gives the same thing? If so, then marriage is already a legal institution. But if marriage is something different than just the (legal) benefits, then I don't think separate but equal applies to this.
Anybody care to respond?
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Old Oct 13th, 2008, 05:07 AM       
i think they should just take away the benefits of being married, that would be more fair
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Old Oct 13th, 2008, 08:21 AM       
if marriage didn't exist would you invent it?
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Old Oct 13th, 2008, 02:15 PM       
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Why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone and just end marriage as a state sanctioned institution? Marriage is pretty much an arbitrary title with a bunch of legal bullshit added in and the possibility of losing 50% of everything you own.
Best idea of the year!
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Old Oct 13th, 2008, 02:33 PM       
I remember when I was little... If I got concerned about what the other kids were doing and thought I needed to throw a fit about about it, my parents or teacher would say something to the effect of "You dont need to worry about what they are doing. You need to worry about yourself". If you are not gay, gays getting married shouldnt bother you. It has nothing to do with you. I keep hearing these kinds of people go on and on about the "gay agenda", what gay agenda? There is no gay agenda only a bigot agenda.
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Old Oct 13th, 2008, 02:52 PM       
It's my belief that people who are the most anti-gay, are secretly gay themselves. From their point of view, I could see how they would think homosexuality is an inclination, and how gay people around them may make them more comfortable with what they are taught is wrong (or in other words: catching the gay).
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Old Oct 13th, 2008, 03:45 PM       
everyone forgets the most oppressed minority. Night People! Day people forcing us to go shop and do important stuff during daylight hours and leaving nowhere for us to gather other than bars, porn stores, and bowling alleys.

Nocturnal rights!
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