Take Their Appeal To State High Court
By LYNNE TUOHY Courant Staff Writer/ Photo: Good as You
Lawyers for eight same-sex couples seeking the right to marry will file their brief in the state Supreme Court today, setting the stage for an epochal legal battle on whether Connecticut permits gay marriage.
Since the couples launched their lawsuit in August 2004, the state has passed a law permitting same-sex couples to form civil unions, which bestow virtually the same legal rights that come with marriage.
The couples not only say civil unions are not enough, but also use the General Assembly's adoption of civil unions as fodder in their constitutional challenge.
The essence of the appeal is encompassed by a rhetorical question in the brief, a draft of which The Courant obtained Tuesday:
"Given the legislature's enactment of the civil union law after this case was filed, and its acknowledgement of both the common humanity of gay people and their rights to equal treatment in their family lives, is it constitutional for the legislature to deny marriage while it also creates, only for gay people, a separate legal regime, with a different name, and deems them eligible for all state-based rights available to married spouses?"
The couples - who are from eight different communities and range in age from their 30s to their 60s - claim that the state's refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates state constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law and freedom of association... Read?