Yesterday the Connecticut House did the right thing by passing the Civil Unions Bill already passed by the Senate, but did the wrong thing by attaching a rider narrowing the definition of marriage to exclude same-sex couples:
Though gay rights activists were disappointed by passage of the amendment, the House action signals the end of their long quest for legal recognition of same-sex relationships. The Senate, which passed the measure 27-9 last week, is expected to approve it again as amended, and the marriage language turned Gov. M. Jodi Rell into an unequivocal supporter of the landmark legislation. “Passage of this bill will extend civil rights to all couples, no matter their gender, and send the unmistakable message that discrimination in any form is unacceptable in Connecticut,” Rell said. The House voted 85-63 to pass the bill, which extends the equivalent of marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. Rell pledged to sign the bill into law if the Senate accepts the House version. Connecticut then would become the first state to approve same-sex civil unions without the threat of court intervention.
Whether or not the Senate bends its will to that of the House and the Governor, this chapter represents some progress in a fight which won’t be over until full civil marriage is granted equally to all couples.