The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled today that gay and lesbian couples have the right to get married. Connecticut is the third state to mandate equally treatment for citizens when applying for marriage licenses, regardless of their sexual orientation.
“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 ruling said.
“To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others. 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 constitutional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry.”
The decision would only allow gay couples the state benefits of marriage. The Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, denies gay couples federal recognition of state marriages, which provides for federal benefits with regard to Social Security, taxation, immigration and others.
Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and New Jersey have civil unions.