Lesbian And Gay Couples Win Freedom To Marry In Connecticut

Affiliate: ACLU of Connecticut
October 10, 2008 12:00 am

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HARTFORD, CT – The Connecticut Supreme Court today ruled that barring same-sex couples from marriage violates that state’s constitution. The American Civil Liberties Union, which was co-counsel in the case along with Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, applauded the decision.

“Today’s decision makes it clear that it’s unfair to treat same-sex couples who make the same commitments that other couples do any differently,” said Andrew Schneider, Executive Director of the ACLU of Connecticut. “We couldn’t be happier about today’s decision by the court, because it truly fulfills our state’s promise to treat all of its citizens equally under the law.”

That reasoning was evident in the opinion, in which Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote, “Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay people are entitled to marry… To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others.”

The case was brought in 2004 in New Haven Superior Court on behalf of eight gay and lesbian Connecticut couples who had been denied marriage licenses. The couples have now been together for between ten and 32 years and are raising a total of 14 children.

The plaintiffs in Kerrigan & Mock et al v. Connecticut Department of Public Health were represented by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and the ACLU of Connecticut. Maureen Murphy of Murphy, Murphy & Nugent, LLC and Kenneth J. Bartschi and Karen Dowd of Horton, Shields & Knox, P.C. were cooperating counsel.

A PDF of the decision can be downloaded at: www.aclu.org/lgbt/relationships/37127lgl20081010.html.

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