Connecticut became the third state to legalize same-sex marriage today in a 4-3 decision by the state Supreme Court.In an 85-page decision issued at 11:30 a.m., the court ruled that the state had “failed to establish adequate reason to justify the statutory ban on same sex marriage.”The justices noted in the majority opinion that they recognized “as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health … that ‘our decision marks a change in the history of our marriage law.'”The case, Kerrigan v. the state Commissioner of Public Health, was brought by eight same-sex couples who were denied marriages licenses by the Madison town clerk.
They argued that the state’s civil union law was discriminatory and unconstitutional because it established a separate and therefore inherently unequal institution for a minority group. Citing the equal protection under the law, the state Supreme Court agreed.”In accordance with these state constitutional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry,” says the majority opinion, which was written by Justice Richard N. Palmer.Connecticut joins California and Massachusetts, which became the first state to allow same-sex marriage 2004.
In a scathing 25-page dissenting opinion, Justice Peter T. Zarella wrote that “there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage.””The ancient definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has its basis in biology, not bigotry,” Zarella wrote. “If the state no longer has an interest in the regulation of procreation, then that is a decision for the legislature or the people of the state and not this court.”