With the 4-to-3 ruling, Connecticut becomes the third state in the nation to legalize same sex marriage. California legalized gay marriage in May 2008, and Massachusetts in 2004. The decision takes effect on October 28, and the first same-sex couples will be able to legally marry in November.
Jason Bartlett, Democratic Connecticut state representative, the nation's first openly black gay state legislator and Deputy Director of the National Black Justice Coalition remarked, "I am excited that I live in a State that recognizes the principle that separate is not equal. I congratulate the Connecticut State Supreme Court for recognizing that coming up with a separate classification of 'civil unions' was pernicious and discriminatory."
Republican Gov. Jodi Rell says, "The Supreme Court has spoken. I do not believe their voice reflects the majority of the people of Connecticut. However, I am also firmly convinced that attempts to reverse this decision—either legislatively or by amending the state Constitution—will not meet with success."
Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut and a vocal opponent of gay rights and mariage equality, says the ruling is an "outrage" and "even the legislature, as liberal as ours, decided that marriage is between a man and a woman. This is about our right to govern ourselves. It is bigger than gay marriage."
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, whose office argued against the same-sex couples', simply said, "The State Supreme Court is the ultimate authority on all state law, and its ruling on the state constitution must be respected."
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese noted "the decision strengthened Connecticut families" and added, "This is a very proud day for Connecticut and a very proud day for every American who believes in the promise of equal rights for all."