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Connecticut 3rd state to legalize gay marriage

Staff Report • Oct 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Stateline.org is reporting that the Connecticut Supreme Court has joined California and Massachusetts in ruling that same-sex partners are entitled to all the benefits of traditional marriage, including the title.

While the ruling expands the list of states where same-sex marriage is now legal, it is overshadowed by a ballot measure in California that seeks to stop gay nuptials in the country's most populous state.

If California voters on Election Day were to overturn the state's historic May 2008 ruling sanctioning same-sex marriage, it would stall political momentum for same-sex marriage rights in the states, political experts say.

Florida and Arizona voters also will decide on Nov. 4 whether to amend their state constitutions to limit marriage to one man and one woman – essentially ensuring a permanent ban on gay marriage unless voters go back to the polls to repeal it.

In a 4-to-3 decision on Friday (Oct. 10), Connecticut's high court ruled that same-sex couples – who in Connecticut already were allowed to enter into civil unions with all state-level marriage benefits – are entitled to use the title marriage under the state constitution's equal rights protections. High courts in California and Massachusetts relied on the same legal principle.

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