Connecticut Supreme Court Redefines Marriage
Special Report - October 13, 2008
On Friday, October 10, the Connecticut Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling by a 43 margin to establish a constitutional right to “same-sex marriage” in the state. The decision takes effect on October 28 and is unlikely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, because it is a question involving only the state constitution, according to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. The eight same-sex couple plaintiffs claimed that the state’s failure to recognize “same-sex marriage” is a violation of the state’s equal protection clause, saying that civil unions, allowed under a 2005 statute passed by the Connecticut legislature, were discriminatory. The majority opinion stated that “interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice.” Justice Peter Zarella, in his dissent, pointed out that “the ancient definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has its basis in biology, not bigotry.” He went on to say that “if the state no longer has an interest in the regulation of procreation, then that is a decision for the legislature of the people of the state and not this court.”
According to Article 13 Section 2 of the Connecticut State Constitution, the question “Shall there be a Constitutional Convention to amend or revise the Constitution of the State?” must be on the ballot every 20 years. That question will be on the Connecticut ballot November 4, 2008. Proponents of traditional marriage hope to use the constitutional convention, if called, to amend the state constitution to allow “direct initiatives,” presumably in an attempt to open the door for a constitutional marriage amendment in the state.
“The Connecticut Supreme Court overstepped its jurisdiction by taking upon itself the authority to make policy decisions for the people of Connecticut by redefining the foundational institution of society,” said Tami Fitzgerald, staff attorney for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “The spread of judicial activism as seen in Massachusetts, California, and now Connecticut underlines the importance of states like North Carolina acting quickly to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.”
Copyright © 2008. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.