Same-sex marriages and civil unions
Back in 2005, American same-sex couples could get married in
Massachusetts, enter into a civil union in Vermont or register as a
partnership in California. They could also marry in
most of the jurisdictions in Canada. None of the U.S. options give them the over
1,000 federal benefits and obligations that the federal DOMA law reserves as
special privileges for married opposite-sex couples. However American same-sex couples
can receive all or
almost all of the state benefits in the above states.
The Connecticut House and Senate passed a bill to create a system of civil unions which is similar to the Vermont and California legislation.
It was signed into law by the governor on 2005-APR-20. The law took effect
Eight same-sex couples challenged the civil union law in court, claiming
that it violates their constitutional rights to equal treatment and denies them the
financial, social and emotional benefits that opposite-sex couples automatically
receive from marriage.
The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled on 2008-OCT-10 that the state's provision
for civil unions did not give same-sex couples rights equal to opposite-sex
married couples. Since the state constitution requires all citizens to be given
equal protection under law, the majority of judges voted in favor of legalizing same-sex
marriage. All loving, committed couples in Connecticut have been able to obtain
marriage licenses since 2008-OCT-28.
On 2009-APR-23, the Connecticut legislature passed a bill making the state
marriage laws gender-neutral. Governor M. Jodi Rell (R) quickly signed it into
law. Existing civil unions will be automatically converted to marriages on
Topics covered in this section:
Copyright © 2005 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
First posted: 2005-APR-06
Latest update: 2009-APR-05
Author: B.A. Robinson