Friday, October 10, 2008

Connecticut Opens the Door for Marriage Equality for Gays -- New Jersey Should Follow Suit

Some rather incredible news today: Connecticut, via a landmark Supreme Court decision, has now legalized gay marriage. For those of us who envision a future American culture where homophobia is a thing of the past, and equal rights are afforded to all, this action represents a huge step in the right direction. Supreme Court Justice Richard Palmer wrote in the majority opinion 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." The state constitution is cited here, but legal protection for gay and lesbian couples, while not explicitly state as such, are part of the equal rights ethos of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, too.

New Jersey shouldn't wait to legalize gay marriage, as now Massachusetts, California, and Connecticut (Bravo, Connecticut) have all legalized gay marriage. What will make New Jersey's marriage equality law different, if it is indeed passed, is that it will legalize gay marriage through actual legislative vote. That vote should come sooner rather than later.

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