Saturday, October 01, 2005

Civil Unions For Gay Couples Begin In Connecticut

Gay couples like Edward Rivera and Pablo Santiago, Hartford, Connecticut, have begun to receive their Civil Union licenses in the State of Connecticut. Connecticut became the first state to legalize civil unions without being forced by the courts after lawmakers passed a law endorsing the unions in April. Massachusetts allows gay marriages and Vermont recognizes civil unions because of lawsuits. Connecticut law affords all the legal rights of marriage — such as spousal health care benefits — to same-sex couples, but defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It's a start. Hopefully, more and more states will at least legalize civil unions for gay couples. And then, marriage. In California, the state legislature passed a law making gay marriage legal, but it is Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the law on Thursday. The Republican governor had earlier this month indicated he would veto the bill passed by California's Democrat-led legislature. The bill was the first of its kind approved by a state legislature. Schwarzenegger said he would leave the contentious issue of same-sex marriage to voters and the courts. In NJ, a court case was heard to allow gay marriage. In June, a New Jersey appeals court ruled that the state constitution does not require the recognition of same-sex marriage. The court, in a split decision, said that it is up to the legislature to change marriage laws if same-sex couples are to wed in the Garden State. However, one of the plaintiffs died Wednesday, and will never realize her life's dream. How many more will die in these United States without ever realizing full civil rights?!

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