Hartford, CT -
Moments ago, Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed a bill into law allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in the state of Connecticut.
Late yesterday, Connecticut lawmakers voted to update the state's marriage laws, allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. The Marriage Codification Bill, which now redefines marriage in Connecticut as "the legal union of two people," passed 28-7 in the Senate and 100-44 in the House of Representatives. Previously, the law was defined as the union of a man and a woman.
The vote came six months after last October's state Supreme Court court ruled 4-3 that it was unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.
This past November, that decision went into effect and the first same-sex couples in Connecticut began marrying.
Proponents of the bill said the importance of the legislation was to conform state statutes to the Supreme Court's ruling and remove all anti-marriage language and remove demeaning language that was included in statute with the passage of the "gay rights law" in 1991.
The bill also clarifies the status of civil unions, merging them into marriages beginning in October 2010.