Friday, October 10, 2008

Connecticut Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I used to think Connecticut was just the rectangular thing I had to drive through to get from New Jersey (where I used to live) to Boston (where I went to college), or vice versa. Sure, it has a lovely coastline, especially around Mystic (which did have some excellent pizza), and the Merritt Parkway is especially nice, but, beyond that, what? Hartford? Please. Maybe when they had the Whalers.

Well, allow me to heap some praise on the drive-through today.

The state Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 in support of same-sex marriage. Here's the Hartford Courant:

Citing the equal protection clause of the state constitution, the justices ruled that civil unions were discriminatory and that the state's "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," the majority wrote. "To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others."

Needless to say, opponents are already frothing. And their goal, of course, is to amend the state constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage altogether.

For now, though, The Constitution State, or at least its highest court, or at least a narrow majority of that court, has proven to be a bastion of liberal constitutionalism and individual liberty.

I haven't been back to Connecticut in many years. But my respect for it has increased immensely.

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