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Conn. Court Overturns Anti-Gay Marriage Law

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Posted on Oct 10, 2008
Gay People Holding Hands

Connecticut joined Massachusetts and California as the only states to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court of Connecticut joined the ranks of California and Massachusetts on Friday to (finally) legalize same-sex marriage. The decision comes at a potentially prickly time as the presidential election looms, although both John McCain and Barack Obama have, so far, exerted little rhetorical effort to make gay rights a wedge issue in the campaign.

Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have the right to marry, making that state the third behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions.

The divided court ruled 4-3 that gay and lesbian couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry under the state constitution, and Connecticut’s civil unions law does not provide those couples with the same rights as heterosexual couples.

“I can’t believe it. We’re thrilled, we’re absolutely overjoyed. We’re finally going to be able, after 33 years, to get married,” said Janet Peck of Colchester, who was a plaintiff with her partner, Carole Conklin.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 11, 2008 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

So it’s all about the words “Marry” and “Marriage”?

Why?  What’s so special about those words?  It’s like making flag-burning illegal.  The very LAW that makes flag-burning illegal diminishes the meaning of the flag.

What matters is the rights, privileges and status that are conveyed on the couple.  I personally don’t give a shit who marries whom as long as they are happily consenting adults.

But I also am a realist and a believer in tactics.  The Gay and Lesbian movement that sued to create the right to marry beyond a man and a woman learned NOTHING from the great legal battles of the Civil Rights Movement, which should have been their guide.

Not just a guide for fighting for what’s right against what’s wrong, but a guide to TACTICS and STRATEGY!

Let’s do a thought experiment: Supposing Thurgood Marshall, the leader of the legal team, decided that he had the Law and the Constitution on his side to completely throw out ALL Jim Crow and discrimination laws.  Did he? Of COURSE he did! So why didn’t Marshall bring his suit?  BECAUSE HE KNEW HE WOULD STILL LOSE!

You build a foundation a legal foundation, and so Marshall did.  He never attacked all of Jim Crow head on, he went after a small corner of it, and, almost cynically, used children to break through the EMOTIONAL barrier—he had the Law EASILY on his side.  Thus his cataclysmic law suit of Brown vs Board, where, only in public schools, did Marshall challenge “Separate, but equal”.  He used emotional tools, like White and Black children both associating white dolls with “good” and black dolls with “bad”.

That was his case. Children and clearly unequal schools.  Once he won, the rest of the legal foundation of Segregation could not survive, and in case after case could be dismantled.

Marshall had as much to do with de-segregation as MLK, maybe more.  But he understood TACTICS!

I really had hoped that the Gay and Lesbian movement would use similar tactics to build such a foundation that when they FINALLY assaulted the concept of marriage as solely hetero, there would be no contest.  Instead, they went for the whole enchilada and gave the right another great fear issue, and talking point.

And the problem is that marriage IS a religious concept that has been made secular—like public Christmas trees.  I’d rather see the legal and private sides separated and delineated…Civil Union is what the Law provides, marriage is a private concept, assigned by religions and non-religious as they choose.

There’s no reason not to change how it’s done…just rename a marriage license a civil union license and we’re done.  Ministers can still form the union, so can sea captains and justices of the peace.  But “marriage” won’t be a legal word, merely a private one.

It won’t change anything, but it WILL grant full legal equal status on Gay and Lesbian marriages.  Because their LEGAL status will be “Civil Union” and Hetero marriages’ LEGAL status will be “Civil Union” as well.

And isn’t that the goal?

So the Southern Baptists won’t recognize it. Or the Catholic Church won’t recognize it.  Or the Orthodox Union won’t recognize it.  Big Deal. None of them recognize my marriage to my wife anyway!

Or didn’t you know?

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By Chaquepetiteextase, October 10, 2008 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

Basically every culture on the planet has established through time and tradition some sort of union befitting the title of “marriage”; however, what makes a “marriage” in one culture does not adequately describe a “marriage” in another culture. Marriage is virtually impossible to define and it’s not strictly a religious descriptor. That is, the term “marriage” does not exclusively belong to the religious community.

Words are only as good as the meaning they convey. In our society the term “marriage” generally describes a union between two consenting adults, and most typically it’s a love-match, as opposed to an arranged marriage, which is more typical in India, parts of SE Asia, and elsewhere.

“Civil Union” is a half-ass “separate but equal” attempt to quell our nation’s homophobia by extending some basic privileges to the gay community but still refusing to fully acknowledge their commitment to each other and the love that they indeed share.

It is discriminatory to imply that gay couples share less love, and less consent, and deserve less respect, and less protection under the law.

It’s downright ridiculous to imply that love manifests itself differently based on sexual anatomy and therefore deserves less reverence or protection.

And it’s flatly despicable that we pride ourselves on being a nation uniquely established on tenets of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, and rationalize that ‘them thur ter’rists hate us fer our “freedoms”’, and then turn around and deny our very own citizens the right to marry whom they choose.

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By lichen, October 10, 2008 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

No, marriage is a secular, universal institution that outdates all of the pathetic monotheistic religions.  It is something that the government has the right to get involved with, and should.  Gay marriage has never been about trying to force homophobic churches to allow weddings they don’t want to, but it is illegal to not recognize someone as married when they have been under the law.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 10, 2008 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

I actually agree.  I think the Government should only be in the business of Civil Unions. 

Whether these are called “Marriages” or “Posslqs” or “Dog-and-Pony-Shows” should be a private matter. And churches, synagogues, mosques and other temples are private.  Let THEM define “Marriage” and whether there’s a Civil Union they recognize—or don’t recognize. 

Why should the Southern Baptists have a right to enshrine in Law what the Episcopalians are entitled to deem a “marriage”?  That’s MY key question.

The one thing I have a problem with is Polygamy.  I know it’s an old custom in many parts of the world, but I have a hard time believing that multiple spouses is good for anyone but the guy who gets all the women.  It’s illegal in the US, and I only agree with that because it seems that the spouse-type of which there are multiples (inevitably the women) get hurt by it.  I’m open to being convinced otherwise.

Beyond that, I believe that a Civil Union requires no more than two happily-consenting adults both of whom are not currently in another existing Civil Union.

Beyond that, why is it ANYONE’s business?  It certainly will have ZERO effect on my marriage.  Or anyone else’s.

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By Aegrus, October 10, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

I don’t see why anyone should celebrate. Marriage belongs in the hands of institutions of faith. It’s not supposed to be regulated by the government. Extending rights to gay couples is important and necessary, but there are plenty of churches who already have decided to get with the times and support gay marriages in their congregations. State and Federal governments have no business defining marriage in any circumstance. It’s unconstitutional.

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