Saturday, October 11, 2008

Connecticut Finds Right to Same-Sex Marriage - Joins Massachusetts and California

In a long-awaited decision, the Connecticut Supreme Court yesterday joined the highest courts of California and Massachusetts in creating, or recognizing, a right of same-sex marriage on state constitutional grounds. As in those other courts, the decision was a close 4-3. See the news here: Connecticut Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage - The Boston Globe. The majority opinion of the court is here, and the three separate dissenting opinions are here, here and here.

(By Michael Levenson and Andrew Ryan)

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 struck down a law barring same-sex marriage, ruling that the state had "failed to establish adequate reason to justify the statutory ban."

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 marriage 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 equal protection under the law, the state Supreme Court

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


For information about Massachusetts divorce and family law, see the divorce and family law page of my law firm website.

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