Friday, October 10, 2008

Good News on a Bad News Day

On a day when the global financial system teeters on the brink of collapse, stock markets around the world sliding downward, and we see a President of the United States who has lost every ounce of credibility, pleading for patience and attempting to collaborate with former allies whose cooperation he has long spurned, I didn’t expect to hear any good news. But good news there is!

In an
85 page ruling today Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled today that gays and lesbians should be afforded the same basic right to marry as any other citizen of the state. The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that the state's civil unions discriminate against gay couples, paving the way for gay marriages to take place in the state.

The court's opinion says that Connecticut's current "scheme [civil unions] discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation." Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) lawyer Ben Klein
argued on behalf of eight same-sex couples before the court in May 2007. He argued
"What has been denied to these families is something that goes to the heart of equal protection," Klein told the court. He said that gays and lesbians "had the right to be part of the fabric of society when they are just the same as other couples and other families."

The state argued that civil unions gave gays and lesbians the same benefits.

The court sided with GLAD and stated in its ruling, "In light of the history of pernicious discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians, and because the institution of marriage carries with it a status and significance that the newly created classification of civil unions does not embody, the segregation of heterosexual and homosexual couples into separate institutions constitutes a cognizable harm."

Klein said today's court opinion means that Connecticut's gays and lesbians "are full and equal parts of our society," and will now be afforded that basic right of marriage.
We can only hope that as this is recognized in other states, our nation as a whole will come to the place where we will see the end of legal discrimination against gays and lesbians as we saw the end of legal discrimination against interracial marriage in an earlier day.

I don’t know what to expect from the financial crisis, but some of my faith in our nation’s judicial system has been restored by the ruling in Connecticut.

- Milo

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