« Younger Evangelicals More Progressive on Issues. On Candidates, Not So Much. | Main | Iowans, the Presidential, and Abortion »

October 10, 2008

Connecticut court okays same-sex marriage

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled today that same-sex couples have the right to marry, reversing a lower court ruling that civil unions had offered the same rights and benefits as marriage, the Associated Press reports.

The court ruled 4-3 that gay and lesbian couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry under the state constitution.

Connecticut joins California and Massachusetts as the only states that allow same-sex marriage. High courts in New York, New Jersey and Washington have ruled that there is no right to same-sex marriage under their constitutions.

In his majority opinion, Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote that the court found that the "segregation of heterosexual and homosexual couples into separate institutions constitutes a cognizable harm," 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."

In his dissent, Justice Peter Zarella said any decision on gay marriage should be left to the legislature

"The ancient definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has its basis in biology, not bigotry," Zarella wrote. "If the state no longer has an interest in the regulation of procreation, then that is a decision for the legislature or the people of the state and not this court."

The Hartford Courant
writes that eight same-sex couples had brought the case after they were denied marriage licenses in 2004. A Superior Court ruled in July 2006 that civil unions already provide all the rights and protections of marriage. The couples then appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Connecticut joins California and Massachusetts as the only states that allow same-sex marriage. High courts in New York, New Jersey and Washington have ruled that there is no right to same-sex marriage under their constitutions.

Comments

And we wonder why we are having trouble in America?

Right, Gary, the economic crisis, global warming, and the two wars we're in are all the fault of the gays? And all over Connecticut straight marriages are falling apart because the gays can marry? Gays and lesbians make up something like 10% of our population, and some small percentage of them will get married, and somehow this is ruining our country? Have you lost all sense of proportion or cause and effect? Have you no mercy? No compassion? Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, yet that issue has been pushed to the top of the so-called Christian agenda? When there are famlies in poverty here in our country and all over the world, people dying from AIDS and malaria, wars, and oppression? Read the Bible from beginning to end to please get a sense of perspective.

To the Connecticut Supreme Court -- job well done. This is how a constitutional democracy works. The government cannot provide rights to one group of citizens and not another, no matter how maligned that excluded group might be.

Dear Christian,
I got your point. For sure our falling system is not to be blamed on the gay community. That would not make any sense.
The reason our "world" is falling apart resides in the rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And whoever rejects him will live empty here and will have no hope and assurance of a blessed forever. If You (and everyone reading this) believe that Jesus wrote the New Testament throu his faithful servants You will agree that He, yes, said something about this issue (please read the Scripture @ I Timothy 1:9-11; Revelation 21:8; 22:14,15). Let's proclaim the real Way, Truth and Life for all our friends, gays or not. Repent and convert! That was the first preaching of our Lord here among us. Lets carry the message forward! The Church of Christ still the only hope for our fragile world. Adoring, loving, living, preaching and waiting our beloved Lord (that will make us perfect them!), your brother-friend Robert candido

Gay Marriage is a counterfeit of the real, and will NEVER be equal to traditional marriage. Gay marriage is about people who want to live a reprobate lifestyle which God condems, and force this on the country as alternative marriage. Jesus said plenty about gay marriage, after all he and the father are one, so you can't seperate what God does from Jesus. Jesus said in the last days the world would be like Sodom in the days of lot...till the fire came and destroyed them all... Thanks to judges in Mass, Calif and now Conn, that same judgement will befall America. God is NOT MOCKED>

Dear Mr. Candido, I have read Timothy and Revelation, but even those who believe the Scriptures are the literal word of God do not attribute those words directly to the person of Jesus Christ. I believe that God inspired the writing of the scriptures, but don't you think if homosexuality were the most important issue Jesus, himself, would have said something? I believe in the good news of the Gospel, but I don't see it calling for condemnation for gays and lesbians, some of whom I see in my church leading exemplary Christian lives, lives which exhibit the fruits of the Spirit. They are no more, and no less, "saved" than any other people there. When there are good people, who in good faith disagree about issues like this, we cannot mandate through our laws one view of morality over another. Otherwise, we would be outlawying adultery and fornication.

Why do we get so upset over one perceived (although I don't view it that way) sin and not another? My point was that Christians have the opportunity to do God's will in this world, to bring peace, justice, relief from poverty, to preach the good news. Why do we focus on this minor issue? You can point to a very few specific verses that may, many many centuries after the fact, be read to oppose homosexuality, but if you read the entirety of the Scriptures, it's just NOT the main point. Jesus explained the teaching of the law -- love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul -- and love your neighbor as yourself. And, who is our neighbor? He gave the parable of the good Samaritan. It says LIVE the love of God, just don't preach it. I just don't see how the sometimes hateful (not from you, though) raging against gays and lesbians constitutes living the word of God.

To Phil Jackson -- even if you look at every single verse in the bible, there are just a very few, out of thousands, that say anything about homosexuality and even in those verses, it's unclear that "homosexuality" as we know it today is what was being discussed. It's just NOT the main point of the Scriptures, regardless of how much of your time is spent obsessing about it. Surely the spirit of the good samaritan is lacking from your rant. Have you taken the time to get to know any gay men or lesbians? Until a law is passed forcing YOU to marry a man, nothing is being forced on you. No one is mocking God. Fortunately, it won't be you guarding the pearly gates! What will you do if you get to heaven and see some of the gay people you judged so harshly?

Please, please, please, before declaring what the Bible does or doesn't say, or any opinion as to the importance or unimportance of homosexuality to Christians or the Church today, as least do some meaningful research exposing yourself to those who have looked that this matter in much greater depth over many years and address all the questions or concerns raised in today's forums on human sexuality. Check out the articles at www.robgagnon.net. Read carefully and then comment with a more informed mind and heart.
God help us!

Poetald -- Your arrogance in assuming that I have not done research merely because you disagree with my opinion is unbecoming a Christian. Have YOU ever known any gays or lesbians, personally, as friend or family? Perhaps my arrogance is showing, but I doubt you have. You certainly have a right to your own opinion, but so do I. And, you can't get around the fact that the bible, which I have read from cover to cover, talks extensively about justice, peace, and poverty and very little at all about homosexuality. Just because Dr. Gagnon has devoted his life to talking about homosexuality, does not mean that Jesus did!

What if marriage were subjected to a separation of church and state?
What if the term "marriage" referred to a religious option, blessing a union by ordained ministers within a church ceremony, and yet not establishing a legal basis nor federal recognition? What if the term "licensed union" referred to a non-religious option, licensing a union by a government agency, and establishing a legal basis and federal recognition? Couples of any gender could opt for one or both arrangements without the state or the church forcing anything. Churches and denominations could struggle with how to define the term "marriage". Governments could proceed with protections of individuals within licensed unions.

Who in their right mind thinks that gays have rejected Jesus? In fact, it is the church who has destroyed the image of Christ by rejecting gays--and a host of other people considered "other". I have never met more Christ-like people than the gay Christian community and the reconciling and inclusive church.

Grace, mercy, goodness, and love come at a cost. For us live resurrected lives with Christ, we, gay and straight, must die too, along with our prejudice, our brokenness, and our gracelessness.

Denise, I've long thought the same thing, after all what the state confers on people by legal marriage is protection of property and family rights. In actual fact marriage by the state's terms is just a legal agreement. As another commentator said in a separate thread the legal agreement didn't use to be between a man and a woman but rather between a man and a woman's father since women had no rights under the law until quite recently in history. Under God marriage is a covenant, a promise made by one person to another...much more serious in my mind than the piece of paper I signed on my wedding day. The blessing of that covenant is what people of faith have been disagreeing on. It's not an easy issue to wrestle with but like Christian Lawyer above I personally know gay couples who are Christian and who's lives demonstrate the love of Christ clearly and loudly.

As a Christian, I am very conflicted about my state's decision to legalize gay marriage. I understand that there are biblical passages that clearly define homosexuality as a sin against God. As a Christian, I also understand that we are all sinners in one way or another and that we must be saved by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. This whole debate on gay marriage always leads me to ask "What would Jesus do?" Jesus accepted all when others were cast aside such as the lepers, prostitutes, all of those who were deemed as lesser members of society. As you can see this whole issue leaves me torn and I will obviously pray about it but before we condemn others let us not forget that we are ALL children of God despite our feelings on gay marriage and maybe we should leave the judgment up to God. I choose not to be all righteous about this issue and maybe as Christians united we should all take a step back and simply pray for those who are for gay marriage, against gay marriage, or just pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ regardless of where they stand on the issue. Whatever people may post in response to my comment, please remember that whether or not we agree on this position, we must stand united as brothers and sisters in Christ and save the judgments for the Judge of all, God.

Christian Lawyer is spot-on. Jesus loves the world and died for the world, not just for straight people. We are commanded to love and care for the "least of these". Is denying gays the right to marriage helping or hindering our witness? We are not called to create heterosexual people, but rather to live the love of God to a desperate world.

I just hope to God that this issue stays at the state level, and does not spill over into the federal level. That is, I fear that the U.S. Supreme court may force all states to recognize this so-called gay "marriage." If gay couples wish to "play house," then by all means they have the right to do so. But a line is crossed when they demand a fundamental change in the definition of marriage,from being a lifetime union between one man and one woman (yes, in that order) to "two people who love each other" or "Party A" & Party B." What would be even worse is the slide into totallitarianism if some judges from DC issue a decree to people in Texas (or any other state for that matter) to recognize, fund and bless this deviant form of coupling.

I just hope to God that this issue stays at the state level, and does not spill over into the federal level. That is, I fear that the U.S. Supreme court may force all states to recognize this so-called gay "marriage." If gay couples wish to "play house," then by all means they have the right to do so. But a line is crossed when they demand a fundamental change in the definition of marriage,from being a lifetime union between one man and one woman (yes, in that order) to "two people who love each other" or "Party A" & Party B." What would be even worse is the slide into totallitarianism if some judges from DC issue a decree to people in Texas (or any other state for that matter) to recognize, fund and bless this deviant form of coupling.

Everybody is assuming those who attend Church are Christians. Ain't so, There are plenty of alchoholics, addicts, sex predaters, etc. who keep their secret just that, a secret because they want the respect in a community that being a Church member automatically gives. Who in their right mind wants everybody to know their secret.
In Jesus' time homosexuals were simply left to their own devises as many sinners were as long as they didn't break the laws of that day, you know, don't steal someone else's property, etc. Nobody even thought of giving them marriage rights, they were just left alone. That is why it's not mentioned on a daily basis in the Bible. Also, it is doubtful that homosexuals even came to talk to Jesus because of the political arena surrounding him. Even the prostitute was dragged to Jesus by the "enemy". She did not come on her own. She was told to go and sin no more. That's the key line right there. If a homosexual or a prostitute or a addict or a sex predater wants to really follow Jesus, they have to give up what they are doing and sin no more. It can be done. It is done by thousands of former homosexuals. That tells me that's it is all about sex just like any other addiction is about the addiction. Something else, man was made with a penis, woman with a vagina, they fit each other and in Jesus' time you were not supposed to waste your seed. It was a sin. So there you have the basic beliefs of Jesus' time. Now a days nobody even thinks of wasting your seed. Boys are taught by society that until they get married, they can have sex with as many girls as they want with no thinking of wasted seed but that's another issue of today.

So much to address, so little time. First, the Bible explicitly speaks out against gay marriage. Second, Christ didn't mention this topic because he was coming to fulfill the law and give us salvation, not restate everything that had been said. In addition, while we are supposed to love the sinner and hate the sin, we also need to stand firm in that homosexuality is wrong or they will not see any reason to quit. Finally, if you want to go with biology, obviously homosexual marriage was not intended as you have to have a male and a female to create offspring. This relates to evolution in that a species has to produce offspring to survive.

Ask yourself, is a gay couple committed in "civil union" bothering you directly? I'm just thinking out loud. I remember a kid in school who was a neo-nazi, not good in the most culturally diverse county in the U.S. But hate and misunderstanding are issues that people love to jump on and crusade with. Buy a puppy, take your kid to the zoo, you'll be happier than working yourself up in a meager attempt to be a false Christian crusader, like radical anti-abortion promoters. Let Christ sort us out and judge, for I feel pain in what I see as my sin but am by no means a radical Christian who thinks he has to defend God's word here on earth. Hermeneutics still baffles me.

Anna said "Everybody is assuming those who attend Church are Christians. Ain't so". No...I just assume everybody in church is a sinner. I would also be very careful what you assume about Jesus. From my reading of the gospels it seems that he spent most of his time on a collision course with the religious leaders of his day who were more concerned with legalism than with grace.

Heather, which ever side of the issue you stand on, you are so right. Reading these comments, it is pretty easy to see which ones sound more like Jesus and which sound more like the religious leaders of Jesus' day.

The Bible shows that marriage changed over the time, and marriage was different for different classes. Kings had harems. Abraham had a handy concubine to use as a surrogate mother. Some men didn't marry until fairly late in life, as they had to work a long time to afford a bride price. Marriage between enslaved people was, at best, informally and capriciously recognized only by those who kept them enslaved.

Love in a marriage was nice, but not necessary, especially with the double standard. Temple and secular prostitution, by both sexes, had a ready market. Rich men had their favorite mistresses, concubines and slave women. A brother could own his half brother.

Now, being a "slave" is just consenting adult, sexual role play...something I'd rather not think about, but no reason to deny people full citizenship.

A brother cannot own his half brothers and sisters, who are all equally legally "legitimate" in inheriting their father's estate. We don't have much temple prostitution going on anymore...though some sectarian "cults" seem to get pretty close.

Being female was quite dangerous back then. Joseph could have had Mary stoned to death for being pregnant not by him. Rape could have an unbetrothed girl forced to marry her rapist...at best. Females would often be overworked and underfed. Girls were married off quite young, quite illegal now. The maternal and infant death rate was so frighteningly high.

"Traditional" marriage, in many places and times, was usually a contract between men: a man and his future father in law, or between fathers contracting for their children.

Marriage wasn't so much about raising children to become responsible adults and a joy in one's old age, as having "legitimate" male heirs. A woman's child was only informally her child, not legally her child. Adultery was a property crime, and a man couldn't commit adultery unless he slept with the wife or the betrothed of another man. It was a property crime.

Daughters were usually married off as young as possible, and certified "pure," or things could get very, very bad. Love was nice, but not necessary, especially with the double standard. Temple and secular prostitution, by both sexes, had a large market.

Remember the case of Jacob and Labin? Labin delivered Leah instead of Rachael, and Jacob, to get Rachael, had to contract again with Labin. He got stuck with two wives, who were sisters. An excess of daughters was a liability, but one couldn't just give them away, so one can understand Labin's desperation in pawning off the undesirable Leah.

So, unless we want to go back to those days, which sounds perfectly to me...the definition of marriage must change, as it has. Senior widows can marry for love and companionship, or not, instead of having to be a live in servant to her oldest son and his family. Adultery is not a property crime against only men anymore. Having sex with a prostitute is now considered to be adultery.

Love is the marriage contract now, drawn up between the lovers. Having it legally recognized is optional, but exercising that option contributes, so we hope, to more stable and secure relationships, legal support in benefits, privileges and duties for those relationships, more security and stability for the children that love creates, and a more stable, caring society.

Why not legally recognize the Love Contracts of same sex couples? They'll make them, like them or not. And, society needs all the help it can get to become more stable, responsible, loving and caring.

I see little reason to pay much heed to Robert Gagnon's speculations, simplistically based on long left behind, dawn of psychology theory.

Even if it's correct, so what? It would be merely interesting, and certainly no reason to discourage GLBT loving, caring, stable relationships; no reason to deny full citizenship to the people of GLBT community.

Gagnon produces no reason to deny GLBT people, by dubiously named constitutional amendments, their First Amendment right to petition their governments at all levels, for redress of their grievances...a right so fundamental that even Charles Manson has it.

To Anna and Cybereagle777 --- if Jesus Christ "scares the hell out of" you, you've clearly missed the point of the Gospel entirely. What a shame!

Anna and cybereagle777 -- if you really believe that "Jesus scares the hell out of" you, then I think you've missed the entire point of the Gospel! What a shame.

Greg,

Nobody is suggesting going back to ancient marriage practices. In fact, that has not even been brought up. All we're saying is that marriage should be limited to one man-one woman, which is considered to be the definition of tradiational marriage. In addition, as I've previously stated, anywhere you look in nature, unions consist of one male and one female (with the exception of species which are androgenous).

Has Christian community do something to prevent something like this to happen? Before anything sign into law, there will be a process of getting people's vote for gay-marriage issues. Are local churches been informed and get Christians together to veto those bills or voice their opinions? Most of the times, pastors and local churches are not informed and do not take any action. If this passiveness continues, gay-marriage will be granted state by state. Christians are hoping a president will stop the trend, but forget this is also their responsibility to get involved to stop the trend.
Who can organize such an effort to stop pro-gay-marriage bills being passed? This Nov 4th ballot, California, Florida, and Arizona can turn the page around, will Christians in these States do the right thing? Or just sit at home being passive and blaming others.

You mean to say same sex reprobates, civil rights (Ro.2:28).
Marriage is not a civil right We have the Wright to or not to
marry.Civil right is for like a black person can't help he was
born black,or a woman being born a woman.That is what
civil rights is all about helping people that cannot help the
way the are. Same sex reprobates have the right to or not to
have reprobate sex.

Both religious liberty and civil rights are core american values.
Where do we get our core values from.The rights of the minority
Marriage is not a minority,minority are people not Marriage or
divorce or driving a car.The same sex reprobates wants us to look
at there life style and not at the point of marriage.

We here that Jesus did not talk about same sex reprobates,but
He did talk about Marriage (Mat.19:4)JESUS says Marriage is
between a Man and a Woman.The same sex reprobates wants
the word marriage.Stop the same sex reprobates from getting
you back talking about there life style not the word marriage.
Ha! there is also Opposite sex reprobates, Brothers and Sisters
in Christ that live in a fornication life style out side of marriage.

We as people of Faith in Christ need to stop calling people "gay"
There is nothing happy about being a same sex reprobate.
This is what St. Paul call this type of person.(Ro.2:28)

Peace in Christ
Anthony Hall
409-724-0495