Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Judiciary Committee approves Marriage Equality

Christine Stuart over at CT News Junkie reports on the Judiciary Committee vote yesterday to codify marriage equality in Connecticut:
After more than three hours of debate and a handful of amendments the legislature’s Judiciary Committee approved by a vote of 30 to 10, a bill which codifies the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision (CTBob: also referred to as the "Kerrigan decision").

The bill also removes gender references in state marriage laws and transforms existing same-sex civil unions into marriages as of October 2010. It now has to be approved by the General Assembly.


The only way the Kerrigan decision can be overturned now is through a constitutional amendment.

Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, who supported Morris’ amendment Monday said Connecticut is a tolerant state. He said even before the court issued its decision he felt the state’s legislature was moving toward approving same-sex marriage independent of a Supreme Court decision.
The ruling omits several amendments that were debated, such as one allowing religious institutions to refuse to allow certain couples the use of their public facilities, and one which would allow justices of the peace to refuse to officiate at a same-sex ceremony. Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, said when it comes to justices of the peace and retired judges, “we don’t want people picking and choosing what laws they uphold,” and the Kerrigan decision is now part of the state’s law.


Nopartisan said...

Quite frankly the government should not even be involved in the marriage issue. Marriage is and shoud be a religous issue. Government involvement leads to discrimination against the unmarried and burdens society with much expense in the different codes and regulations involved. If government was not involved then this divisive issue would not be distracting from things that really are important. If two people enter into legal agreements for shared assets then that would be all that is needed. As for children responsibilty would still rest with the parents.

CT Bob said...

Government IS involved in legislating marriage, and that's never going to change.

By many definitions, marriage is and always has been a legal contract between two people. Religious origins aside, the fact is that marriage in our country carries all sorts of legal obligations.

It's been proven that "separate but equal" doesn't work, and this (edit for clarification: restriction of marriage to opposite-sex couples) is a very obvious attempt to enforce a type of segregation. The laws must apply to everyone, and cannot be selectively enforced or ignored.

West Haven Bob said...

Unfortunately, living will provisions which allow one's life partner to make decisions on behalf of oneself have often been ignored in favor of family members. Additionally, courts have overturned such shared asset agreements on occasion.

While I am in total agreement w/nopartisan on the desirability of removing government and returning marriage to the sole purview of religion, while government IS involved, a cleanup of state laws to be in agreement with legal fact is an innocuous and desirable move.

Clarity in legislated law should reflect the reality of practiced law.