Connecticut Committee Approves Gay Marriage Bill

After three hours of impassioned debate the Connecticut General Assembly Judiciary Committee voted 27-15 to approve a bill that would make gay marriage legal in that state. It will now head to the House of Representatives.

ConnecticutConnecticut already has legalized civil unions for same-sex couples, but after some lawmakers noted that the public’s opinion of gay marriage is in a swift transition, and another lawmaker spoke emotionally of her personal experience under the civil union law, the committee advanced the bill, despite the fact that Governor Jodi Rell has promised to veto it should it come before her.

Rep. Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) made an key impression on the Assembly, notes the New Haven Register:

Bye03“As tears rolled down her cheeks, Bye told members of the committee how her deeply religious father has come to accept and support her gay lifestyle and her partner. ‘My father, a devout Catholic, … has moved on this issue because he loves his daughter. He thinks of me as married,’ said Bye. ‘The broader world does not see me as married.’ Her voice shaking, Bye explained how, on her partner’s pension documents, she has been listed as ‘Other’ because she didn’t fit into any of the traditional legal categories. ‘I don’t want to be ‘Other,’’ insisted Bye, ‘I want to be married.'”

Rep. Michael P. Lawlor (D-East ), and state Sen. Andrew McDonald (D-Stamford), both openly gay, also spoke in favor of the bill, with Lawlor asking legislators to think of the gay marriage decision made by the South African parliament, who called it a form of apartheid. Said Lawlor: “[think] how history will judge us.”

And even Don Imus entered the debate. Said McDonald: “I suspect Don Imus knows terms matter. They have consequences to people in their lives, in their thoughts, in their self respect.”

A case is also currently pending with the Connecticut Supreme Court, filed by eight couples who say that civil unions do not suffice. However, the approval of the gay marriage bill in Connecticut yesterday appears to be the second time (California was the first) that a gay marriage bill has been approved by a legislative committee without a court order.

Judiciary Committee approves gay marriage bill [stamford advocate]
Gay Marriage Bill Approved In Committee [hartford courant]
Moved by disclosure, legislative panel OKs gay marriage bill [new haven register]

Comments

  1. Chris says

    Great news for Connecticut! Their legislature has been doing a great job of advancing gay rights. Other states should take note!

  2. Stephen says

    Two people of the same sex cannot marry. Civil unions or domestic partnerships afford the same rights.
    It’s as if Connecticut is putting wheels on a boat and calling it a car. One look will tell you it’s not a car.

  3. Aaron says

    And why is that, Stephen?

    Thats like saying black and white water fountains are equal. Sure, you get the same water, but it is FAR from equal.

  4. the other jeff says

    And what is the governor’s rationale for a veto?

    If courts allow gay marriage, politicans (I won’t name parties!) freak out that “activist judges” are creating law and molding policy!

    And yet when the legislature passes the so-called will of the people, marriage advocates are forced to take the issue to the courts when wingnuts complain that judges need to weigh in.

    Which is it?!? Hypocrites!! They keep stalling the inevitable progress of a truly free, just society!

  5. Daniel says

    Stephen says this silly little cant every time the issue comes up. Domestic Partnership laws do not afford everything marriage does. And again, I say, if marriage is solely a religious ceremony the government should be out of it altogether.

  6. Stephen says

    But Daniel, when two people of the same sex have the ability to come together in sexual unison (outside of any artificial means) to bring forth a new life, then the case for marriage for same sex couples has merit.
    Hence, you must realize the difference in the unions. If gays and lesbians simply recognize this biological, magnificent distinction and pursue the bridge to equality through civil unions they stand to gain virtually all the same benefits of married couples.

    Certainly religion amplfies the difference, but the argument stand on its own, sans any religious connotation.