Following a similar line of reasoning of the decision earlier this year by the California Supreme Court, the Connecticut Supreme Court has issued a 4-3 ruling that appears to overturn a "separate but equal" argument for civil unions and orders that same gender couple have the right to marry.
From the ruling:
" We conclude that, in light of the history of pernicious discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians, and because the institution of marriage carries with it a status and significance that the newly created classification of civil unions does not embody, the segregation of heterosexual and homosexual couples into separate institutions constitutes a cognizable harm. We also conclude that (1) our state scheme discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, (2) for the same reasons that classifications predicated on gender are considered quasi-suspect for purposes of the equal protection provisions of the United States constitution, sexual orientation constitutes a quasi-sus- pect classification for purposes of the equal protection provisions of the state constitution, and, therefore, our statutes discriminating against gay persons are subject to heightened or intermediate judicial scrutiny, and (3) the state has failed to provide sufficient justification for excluding same sex couples from the institution of marriage. In light of our determination that the state’s disparate treatment of same sex couples is constitution- ally deficient under an intermediate level of scrutiny, we do not reach the plaintiffs’ claims implicating a stricter standard of review, namely, that sexual orienta- tion is a suspect classification, and that the state’s bar against same sex marriage infringes on a fundamental right in violation of due process and discriminates on the basis of sex in violation of equal protection. In accordance with our conclusion that the statutory scheme impermissibly discriminates against gay per- sons on account of their sexual orientation, we reverse the trial court’s judgment and remand the case with direction to grant the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment."
The New York Times story is here.
A story by the AP on the case in question which gives some background.
The Blade also has a piece up on the legalization that would seem to be implied by this decision.
Read GLAD's reaction and plans.
Integrity has released a statement, which we received via email:
"Integrity applauds today’s Connecticut Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality. “Today’s decision is a decision in favor of marriage and against bigotry,” said Integrity President Susan Russell.
“It is another step forward toward making this a nation of liberty and justice for all -- not just some – and it is a cause for celebration for all Americans. It is also a source of great encouragement for those of us working to preserve marriage for all in California.”
“Integrity is committed to continue to work toward full inclusion for the LGBT faithful in the Episcopal Church and to advocate for equal protection for LGBT Americans -- and we give thanks for those who made today’s Connecticut Supreme Court decision possible.”