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by Jeremy Hooper

Read the opinion (pdf) [CT Supreme Court]

In sum, the state has failed to establish adequate
reason to justify the statutory ban on same sex marriage.
Accordingly, under the equal protection provisions of
the state constitution, our statutory scheme governing
marriage cannot stand insofar as it bars same sex cou-
ples from marrying.
We recognize, as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial
Court did in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, supra,
440 Mass. 309, that ‘‘our decision marks a change in
the history of our marriage law. Many people hold deep-
seated religious, moral, and ethical convictions that
marriage should be limited to the union of one man and
one woman, and that homosexual conduct is immoral.
Many hold equally strong religious, moral, and ethical
convictions that same-sex couples are entitled to be
married, and that homosexual persons should be
treated no differently than their heterosexual neigh-
bors. Neither view answers the question before [the
court]. Our concern is with [our state] [c]onstitution as
a charter of governance for every person properly
within its reach.’’ Id., 312.
The drafters of our constitution carefully crafted its
provisions in general terms, reflecting fundamental
principles, knowing that a lasting constitution was
needed. Like the framers of the federal constitution,
they also ‘‘knew [that] times can blind us to certain
truths, and later generations can see that laws once
thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to
oppress. As the [c]onstitution endures, persons in every
generation can invoke its principles in their own search
for greater freedom.’’ Lawrence v. Texas, supra, 539
U.S. 579. Not long ago, this court made the same essen-
tial point, explaining that ‘‘as we engage over time in
the interpretation of our state constitution, we must
consider the changing needs and expectations of the
citizens of our state.’’ State v. Webb, 238 Conn. 389, 411,
680 A.2d 147 (1996). This admonition applies no less
to the guarantee of equal protection embodied in our
constitution than to any other state constitutional pro-
Even though the right to marry is not enumerated in
our constitution, it long has been deemed a basic civil
right. E.g., Loving v. Virginia, supra, 388 U.S. 12
(‘‘[m]arriage is one the basic civil rights of man’’ [inter-
nal quotation marks omitted]); Skinner v. Oklahoma
ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541, 62 S. Ct. 1110, 86
L. Ed. 1655 (1942) (same). Although we traditionally
have viewed that right as limited to a union between a
man and a woman, ‘‘if we have learned anything from
the significant evolution in the prevailing societal views
and official policies toward members of minority races
and toward women over the past half-century, it is that
even the most familiar and generally accepted of social
practices and traditions often mask unfairness and
inequality that frequently is not recognized or appreci-
ated by those not directly harmed by those practices
or traditions. It is instructive to recall in this regard
that the traditional, well-established legal rules and
practices of our not-so-distant past (1) barred interra-
cial marriage, (2) upheld the routine exclusion of
women from many occupations and official duties, and
(3) considered the relegation of racial minorities to
separate and assertedly equivalent public facilities and
institutions as constitutionally equal treatment.’’ In re
Marriage Cases, supra, 43 Cal. 4th 853–54.
Like these once prevalent views, our conventional
understanding of marriage must yield to a more contem-
porary appreciation of the rights entitled to constitu-
tional protection. 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. To decide
otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitu-
tional principles to gay persons and another to all oth-
ers.83 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 constitu-
tional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied
the freedom to marry.84
The judgment is reversed and the case is remanded
with direction to grant the plaintiffs’ motion for sum-
mary judgment and application for injunctive relief.

The full ruling:

CT Supreme Court ruling - Upload a Document to Scribd

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Your thoughts

Now all we need to do is raise money to prevent the LDS from removing the right.

Posted by: Matt from California | Oct 10, 2008 11:41:34 AM

They're falling like dominoes! Every time that a high court reiterates the fact that we as a class of people have been discriminated against by the very government that is charged with protecting us, is another great leap forward for the cause of justice and equality. And the homophobic Mormons can go fuck themselves.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 10, 2008 11:56:17 AM

Thanks for quoting the opinion. Your link is to a murder case where the defendent lost!

Posted by: LOrion | Oct 10, 2008 12:29:17 PM

Don't forget Papa Ratzi...although actually, at least American Catholics, even priests, do NOT follow the dictates from Rome when they have deemed them inappropriate.

OH Great GREAT news...amongst all the foulness spewing out of the mouths of Republicans...I do hope the financial meltdown will allow for a Democratic landslide at many levels... and for the 100 the Victory Fund is supporting too.

Posted by: LOrion | Oct 10, 2008 12:39:27 PM

Thank, LOrion. Link corrected.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 10, 2008 12:43:38 PM

Perhaps there is hope, pray in our lifetime, that this love which is gay, be felt and warm many hearts, that until now have remained cold. youtube/jerrydoubleu

Posted by: jerrydoubleu | Oct 10, 2008 3:12:11 PM

I only ask why this had to happen on a constitutional convention year.

Let's all hope this doesn't hurt California.

Posted by: Rainbow Phoenix | Oct 10, 2008 7:24:10 PM

Wonder what, if any, impact this great ruling will have on the Florida, Arizona and California ballots? Can see it adding momentum to those in favor of gay marriage, but can also see it serving as a battle cry to rouse those against. But it seems to me that the issue of gay marriage is now rolling down the hill, picking up momentum, and will be increasingly hard to stop.

Posted by: Chris Holden | Oct 11, 2008 10:08:45 AM

I think it's awesome that the tv news is too busy sniffing up Sarah Palin's butt and squawking about the Dow Jones to mention this. That allows this momentous event to slip under the radar rather than fuel a right-wing uprising just before the Proposition 8 vote.

Posted by: Beej the Pink Sheep | Oct 11, 2008 11:46:50 AM

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