Friday, March 04, 2005

Nutmeg Neighbor

Apparently, Massachusetts will remain the only state that allows same-sex marriages for the time being. Connecticut was kicking around the idea, but has come down strongly in favor of civil unions.

In the last two weeks, legislators in both houses in Hartford have spoken out passionately in favor of stopping marriage discrimination by gender and of permitting same-sex civil unions. Governor Jodi Rell chimed in, saying she didn't have any problem with the concept of civil unions.

The state's judiciary committee just approved a bill permitting civil unions with a 2-1 vote in favor. Legislative observers expect this to become law by June of this year. This would make Connecticut the only state to permit any form of legal same-sex marriage or union without a mandate from the courts.

Democratic Representative Mike Lawlor, chair of the judiciary committee, said, "It seems like anti-gay sentiment in the legislature has abated quite a bit. Republicans are realizing that politically there is no downside to doing this."

This is framed in both houses as an equal-rights issue. It may be the right solution there based on the cliche that everyone is unhappy. Conservatives don't want any form and gay advocates want full marriage. Will Connecticut be the trendsetter?

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