SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IN CONNECTICUT: KERRIGAN V. COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Link.

More to follow…Justice Palmer writes for the majority.

Finished skimming Justice Palmer’s opinion and it is compelling.

Justices Palmer, Norcott, Katz, and Harper in the majority.

Three dissenting opinions (Justice Borden joined by Justice Vertefuille, Justice Vertefuille, and Justice Zarella).

Some highlights:

Especially in light of the long and undisputed history of invidious discrimination that gay persons have suffered.. we cannot discount the plaintiffs’ assertion that the legislature, in establishing a statutory scheme consigning same sex couples to civil unions, has relegated them to an inferior status, in essence, declaring them to be unworthy of the institution of marriage.

Something in a name:

Ultimately, the message is that what same-sex couples have is not as important or as significant as ‘real’ marriage, that such lesser relationships cannot have the name of marriage.

Juctice Palmer’s opinion examines the history of discrimination against gay persons:

In sum, the relatively modest political influence that gay persons possess is insufficient to rectify the invidious discrimination to which they have been subjected for so long.

Seperate is not equal:

Accordingly, under the equal protection provisions of the state constitution, our statutory scheme governing marriage cannot stand insofar as it bars same sex couples from marrying.

Conclusion:

To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others. The guarantee of equal protection under the law, and our obligation to uphold that command, forbids us from doing so. In accordance with these state constitutional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry.

Please share your thoughts on the Court’s ruling today by commenting below.

Oh and while you’re watching the Red Sox game tonight, make sure to check A Public Defender for his take on Kerrigan.