Sunday, October 12, 2008

Connecticut Supreme Court Upholds Equal Protection In Gay Marriage Legalization

Good news from Connecticut: the state's Supreme Court struck down the civil union law on Friday and ruled in favor of gay couples' constitutional right to marry.

The photo above shows gay marriage supporters celebrating outside the state capitol of Hartford.

The ruling can't be appealed, will take place on October 28 and correctly states that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law.

Justice Richard N. Palmer eloquently wrote about the 4-3 decision:

“Like these once prevalent views, our conventional understanding of marriage must yield to a more contemporary appreciation of the rights entitled to constitutional 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 constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others.”

The principle of equal protection is reason enough to justify the decision and to not put the ruling to a vote, as is being done in California through Proposition 8. This point is missed by Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of America, who stated, "“This is about our right to govern ourselves. It is bigger than gay marriage.”

No, Mr. Wolfgang, this is exactly about the rights of gays to marry and enjoy the same legal benefits as the straight majority. Such rights are not subject to a vote. A popular slogan among gay marriage advocates pointedly asks, "Can I vote on your marriage?"

So gay marriage is apparently starting to work its way through the northeast, from Massachusetts to Connecticut. May it arrive here in New York, where Governor David A. Paterson directed state agencies to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere.

If gay marriage is finally approved in New York, will the sky fall, civilization crumble and straight marriages such as mine fall apart? Despite the dire warnings of those who say they're "defending marriage," so far that doesn't seem to have happened in Canada, Spain, California, Massachusetts or Connecticut.


dave48103 said...

While the news out of Connecticut is indeed very welcoming, the real test will be in California. So far the Massachusetts ruling and this one, were courageous and correct decisions by the courts. If California voters reject the gay marriage ban, that will certainly open the eyes and minds of millions across the country.

Jeff Tone said...

The Connecticut news was the most groundbreaking, since it was based on constitutional protection. From that perspective, this is a right can't be subject to a vote the way it is in California.