Monday, September 19, 2005

Connecting Connecticut

With precision planning only bureaucrats or legislators can manage, October 1st, Saturday, is the first day civil unions will be fully legal in Connecticut. Having to wait two more days after 2, 15 or perhaps 40 years together is not likely to cause too much anxiety for the state's homosexual couples. However, this symbolizes that some of the roads to civil union have no signs.

Town and city clerks are responsible for registering couples and making the new process go as smoothly as possible, for everyone's sake. According to the New Haven Register, there seems to be "a statewide deficit of information." Specifically, clerks have nearly no published information to clarify their new duties and procedures, just a few do-and-don't tips from the registrar of vital records.

Clerks are to register the new civil union certification "in the same manner as a marriage record," the Registrar Elizabeth Frugale wrote September 1st. Yet, they have no answers for justices of the peace's questions. Nor have those justices received any updates to their manuals. No one has said what happens when bride and groom normally would be part of the ceremony, for example.

Frugale's office reports that it will distribute information packets and worksheets at next Friday's clerk's conference.

Ministers also complain that no one has told them what the differences might be in blessing a civil union. In addition, some gay couples who have jointly adopted children already are delaying their civil unions until the state clarifies the rules, procedures and implications. Other same-sex couples will hold out for full marriage, thank you very much.

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