Hoorah! The Connecticut Supreme Court today ruled 4-3 that the state’s ban on gay marriage violates its constitution.
The decision came after eight gay citizens filed a lawsuit claiming civil unions were not the same as marriage and qualified as discrimination. And the Court agreed, as Justice Richard Palmer writes in the majority opinion:
We conclude that, in light of the history of pernicious discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians, and because the institution of marriage carries it it a status and significance that the newly crated 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 our state scheme discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, for the same reasons that classifications predicated on gender are considered quasi-suspect for the purposes of the equal protection provisions of the United States constitutions…
The state has failed to provide sufficient justification for excluding same sex couples from the institution of marriage.
This is good news for those of you in New York and New Jersey, because you don’t have to be a Connecticut resident to marry there.
Here’s the PDF of the ruling.