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Friday, October 10, 2008

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Gay Marriage

From the decision in Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health (emphasis mine):

"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."

More here and here.

Brett and I are married. I don't remember for how long, I think we got married in '97. (We count the years of our relationship from our first date, not from our marriage date.) We got married for all the usual reasons: tax breaks, ability to make legal medical decisions for each other, if one of us dies the survivor will get all their stuff without any legal wrangling from the relatives. That kind of thing. For us, a piece of paper marking the legal recognition of our relationship was not important for validation of the relationship, but I can see where for some people it could be extremely important. Emotionally it could be a great lift to be able to legally marry your loved one. Especially for a group that is, in general, discriminated against, and who may still feel the need to hide their relationships from their family. Plus, we have gay friends, and if they want to get married they should be able to. Personally, it strikes me as kind of hinky to say "I love my gay friends, but they shouldn't be able to marry if that will make them happy. Marriage is only for straight people." Some friend that would be. 'Separate but equal' didn't work before, and there is no reason to believe it should be acceptable now.

On a related note Arkansas plans to drop their ban on unmarried foster parents:

"The agency [Department of Human Services] said it would end its plan to formalize the prohibition, which has been in place since an executive directive was signed in 2005. The department said it will instead propose allowing state workers to place foster children case by case."

The Arkansas Family Council, a conservative group, is backing an initiative for the November ballot that would ban unmarried people from adopting or fostering children. They admit that the initiative is aimed specifically at same sex couples, but also acknowledge that it would affect heterosexual couples as well. Talking about biting off your nose to spite your face. Or in this case, to spite the children. Nice people.

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