Gay marriage begins next month in Connecticut

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Same-sex couples will be able to pick up marriage licence applications in the US state of Connecticut from November 10th.

The Supreme Court of Connecticut overturned a ban on gay marriage earlier this month, ruling that by stopping same sex partners from marrying was a violation of their constitutional rights.

The court is to decide the exact date on which gay marriages can be conducted.

There have been more than 2,000 civil unions in ths state since they were legalised in 2005.

“I would bet that the majority of those people would change the civil unions to marriage,” said Anne Stanback, president of gay rights group Love Makes a Family. “I think that you have people who’ve waited to get married and have not had civil unions.”

The judgement followed a case that began four years ago when eight same-sex couples sued the state arguing that by not allowing them to marry, the state discriminated against them in volitional of their constitutional rights.

The majority 4-3 opinion said that the “segregation of heterosexual and homosexual couples into separate institutions constitutes a cognisable harm.”

Justice Richard Palmer added: “our state scheme discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation… and the state has failed to provide sufficient justification for excluding same sex couples from the institution of marriage.

“In accordance with our conclusion that the statutory scheme impermissibly discriminates against gay persons on account of their sexual orientation, we reverse the trial court’s judgement and remand the case with direction to grant the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgement.

“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,” Justice Palmer declared.

“To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others.”

Republican state Governor Jodi Rell said that although she disagreed with the judgement, she would uphold it.

“I do not believe their voice reflects the majority of the people of Connecticut,” the Governor said.

“However, I am also firmly convinced that attempts to reverse this decision, either legislatively or by amending the state Constitution, will not meet with success.”