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Conn. high court hears ‘gay marriage’ case

HARTFORD, Conn. (BP)–The same legal group that won a landmark “gay marriage” victory in Massachusetts four years ago asked the Connecticut Supreme Court May 14 to legalize such relationships in that state as well.

An attorney for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) told the justices that even though Connecticut already recognizes same-sex civil unions, it’s not enough. GLAD filed the lawsuit that led to the 2003 Massachusetts “gay marriage” decision and also was behind the suit in Vermont that led to civil unions being legalized there. Civil unions grant all the state legal benefits of marriage, minus the name.

The seven-member court heard oral arguments for three hours and asked tough question of both sides but gave no indication as to when it might rule.

“Separate institutions [like civil unions] for a minority group are unheard of,” GLAD attorney Bennett Klein told the justices, according to the New Haven Register. “It marks one group of citizens as inferior and less worthy. Our history has taught us that separation serves no other purpose than to mark a class of citizens as inferior. Separation cannot create equality. Here, lesbian and gay couples are relegated to a less prestigious institution.”

But Assistant Attorney General Jane Rosenberg urged the justices to leave the matter in the legislature’s hands. She also argued that current law is sufficient.

“I think the civil-union law is important because it shows the advances that this state, this legislature has made in recognizing the rights of gay and lesbian individuals,” Rosenberg told the court, according to the Connecticut Post. “If the legislature had not granted all the rights and benefits to same-sex couples, then it might be harder to make an argument that there’s a rational basis for denying those couples all of those rights.”

Pro-family groups in the state opposed the legislature’s legalization of civil unions, and they’re hoping the court doesn’t make matters even worse. The American Center for Law and Justice filed a legal brief on behalf of the Family Institute of Connecticut opposing “gay marriage” legalization.

“State-approved same-sex marriage sends the message to all citizens, including heterosexuals who might some day be parents, that it is immaterial to the state whether children are raised by their biological mother and father,” the brief read. “Under the paradigm shift in which marriage is about adult close relationships, adults choose the relationships that best suit them at the moment and children are expected to adapt. But social science evidence establishes overwhelmingly ‘that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage.'”

The court was without Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers, who recused herself because her husband works for a legal firm that sided with “gay marriage” supporters. It also was without former Chief Justice William J. Sullivan, who was selected to take Rogers’ place but also recused himself just days before the case was heard. Instead, Appellate Judge Lubbie Harper Jr. was elevated to fill the seventh spot on the court.

Although Massachusetts remains the only state to recognize “gay marriage,” that could chance soon: Maryland’s highest court is expected to issue a decision on the issue any day now.
Compiled by Michael Foust.

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