Connecticut Joins States Recognizing Gay Marriage

Connecticut has joined Massachusetts and California in recognizing same sex-marriages.  See New York Times story.

A person celebrating the Connecticut court decision in Hartford.

Connecticut highest court, its Supreme Court, has ruled in a four to three opinion that the same-sex couples have the right to marry.  The Court struck down the state’s civil union law.  The ruling takes effect on October 28th.

It is interesting to note that the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that civil union statues violated the equal protection clause of the state constitution.   In so many words the majority ruled that civil union is a “second class” form of marriage.  By restricting it to gay couples it is discriminatory in that same-sex couples do not have the right to enjoy the rights and obligatiions of regular marriage.

We indicated in earlier posts that although New York does not recognize same-sex marriages performed in New York, it will recognize the legality of such marriages performed in states where it is legal.  See our prior posts here and here.

Connecticut’s Governor said that attempts to reverse the high court’s decision, such as by legislation or constitutional amendment, will be unsuccessful. 

Therefore, it appears New York same-sex couples seeking marriage will not have to go as far as Massachusetts for a wedding ceremony.   

We recommend that New York couples venturing to any of the three states make sure that they have satisfied such states’ legal residency requirements so that the marriage can not be attacked in any subsequent legal proceeding involving either divorce, custody, or inheritance.  A failure to satisfy the legal residency requirements can result in a judicial ruling many years after the marriage that there was never a valid marriage. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 800-241-9313.

Mark E. Seitelman, 10/11/08,


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