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Civil Unions Recognized In Connecticut

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Republican Governor M. Jodi Rell has just signed into law a bill recognizing same-sex civil unions in Connecticut. This makes Connecticut the second state to recognize civil unions, and the first to do so without pressure from the courts.

We’ve had a lot to hang our heads about in Connecticut these last couple of years – a number of elected officials, including our last governor, John G. Rowland, have gone to prison on a variety of charges ranging from the somewhat expected (corruption) to the downright heinous (engaging in sex with minors).

It’s nice to hear something positive on the evening news for a change.

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About Lisa McKay

  • Eric Olsen

    super Lisa, very profound news as you point out given the action was “voluntary.” Thanks!

  • Makes me proud to call it home, Eric!

  • I guess that strikes CT off the Pope’s visiting list

    Good show, though – under-reported so far

  • Wait, isn’t Jodi Rell a Republican? Doesn’t she have veto power? Good lord how could she let this happen?

    Well, the fact is that she worked with the legislature on the final structure of the bill and signed it with full support, citing it as a step forward for civil rights. BTW she’s also got a state budget surplus in a state with no sales tax and one of the lowest overall tax burdens in the nation.

    Another evil Republican at work, I guess.


  • Civil Unions are very generous, in that this one in Connecticut offers family leave and filing jointly together as well as hospital visitation. Not to disregard the generousity in such an act, I realize it’s far more than most everywhere else, but it is still not 100% the same in rights, benefits and privileges as marriage and while she gave us that, she also signed an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, thereby preventing the gays and lesbians in her state from ever achieving true equality.

  • Amen, and thanks for mentioning the anti-queer portion of the governor’s actions. Anyone who thinks this nod to the fundies mixed with a little old-fashioned Jim Crow (or, as the go-along-to-get-along incremantalists might say, this well-intentioned compromise move) even remotely resembles equality is an IDIOT. IF there is anything positive to be said, at least CT did one small thing sure to rile rank-and-file Falwellians and Bushites.

    The definition of “equality” is quite narrow. The CT move by this Republican pol does not qualify in any way — nor does it win her or her state any points. I will limit my New England visits to Vermont and Massachusetts, thanks.

  • I read an article that said the civil unions were not the same as marriage, and then gave my response but did not save the link, thinking it not relevant.

    Now I come across this link which implies that on the state level it does offer all the same benefits and privileges as marriage.

    Lisa, do you know which it is?

    I do think it’s great when our families get rights and privileges, I would wish for the full package, but realize that it usually comes in segments. For religious reasons, much of society is not ready to bestow equal access upon all civil institutions.

    Also, I said the Gov. signed the amendment. The House passed it, but she thew her support behind it.

  • Steve, my understanding is the same as yours, which is that the bill does indeed confer all of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, but also includes a portion which defines the term “marriage” as a union between a man and a woman. The language was a compromise reached between Rell and the Democrat-controlled house of representatives – she had threatened to veto the bill if it wasn’t amended.

    I completely understand Natalie Davis’s reaction to this – a lot of gay activists here in the state have said much the same, and of course, the folks who don’t like the idea of gay rights at all criticize it for being marriage except in name only, so there are clearly two extremes who will not compromise on this. My personal feeling (and since I’m not gay I realize that this is presumptious on my part) is that I would prefer to see this bill pass than no bill at all. These are very small steps in the right direction – I still think there needs to be something done on the federal level so that gay unions would be recognized on an interstate basis. Actually, I’m completely in support of gay marriage, I just don’t see it happening any time in the near future.

    Dave Nalle, I’m not a Republican but I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said about Rell, and she’s certainly a breath of fresh air after her predecessor.

  • Eric Olsen

    “I want it all and I want it now” may not be an unreasonable response, but I don’t see how this can be viewed as anything other than positive

  • >>The definition of “equality” is quite narrow. The CT move by this Republican pol does not qualify in any way — nor does it win her or her state any points. I will limit my New England visits to Vermont and Massachusetts, thanks.<< Ah yes, progress is bad unless you get exactly everything you demand. Stomp your foot and threaten to cry some more and maybe you'll get your way. Dave

  • Oh, and Dave, in re-reading your comment #4, where did you get the idea we have no state sales tax? It’s 6 percent.

  • gonzo marx

    now no wLisa..don’t go messing up Mr. Nalle’s pretty jingoism with something silly like Facts or Reality…

    it could overamp his video monitors or something…but then we could convert him into an MP3 player or something..

    now wouldn’t that be a win – win?

    i joke..i kid…


  • Sorry Lisa, slip of the keyboard – meant to type ‘no state income tax’ – true, no?


  • no.

    keep looking for more straws to grasp.

  • Well, what the hell do I know then. Connecticut sucks, I’m never moving there.


  • We have a 6 percent sales tax, a state income tax, and one of the highest gasoline taxes in the country. But hey, it’s home.

  • I actually seem to have confused Connecticut with New Hampshire – stupid of me, really. New Hampshire is a fine and relatively low tax state. You live in an oppressive hellzone, but at least now you can have a civil union with your SO of choice. Maybe that will bring people in to beef up the tax base so the taxes won’t go any higher.


  • I realize New England is small, Dave, but really…


  • we all look alike up here too.

  • “Another evil Republican at work, I guess”

    Don’t be so melodramatic Dave. Not all Republicans are evil. Only you. And Tom DeLay.

  • Meanwhile, in Washington State, Microsoft has decided to withdraw support for gay civil rights. Read about it in The Stranger (Seattle’s alternative weekly newspaper): Microsoft Caves on Gay Rights.

  • Microsoft didn’t exactly go against gay civil rights, they just chose to take a politically neutral position – which is really what any sensible company ought to do on any political issue not immediately pertinent to its business needs. More curious is why this bill to provide equal protection to people regardless of sexual preference hasn’t been passed before this after being submitted to the Washington legislature for 29 years straight.


  • Dave –

    Legalistically speaking, you are correct – they didn’t “go against gay civil rights”.

    Practically spekaing, given the specific political situation with this bill in Washington, dropping support for the bill may be tantamount to killing it, which certainly plays into the hands of those who wish to deny gays their civil rights.

    I agree with your statement about Washington not getting around to passing this bill sooner. The fact that the state Republican caucus is totally unified against it may be a large part of the explanation.

    – Roy

  • Proctor and Gamble dropped their support/sponsoring for gay pride events, but continue to sponsor other community events, and pulled their support for a non-discrimination law in Cleveland, after standing against the Right for years. This is mostly due to the AFA and Dobson.

    I blogged on my site awhile back (but can’t access blogger right now to link to it), links to news reports of how the American Family Association used bulk email servers to bombard gay sites like the historical Celluloid Closet, which archives gay representation on film, causing them to crash for days. They have continued to bully and harass P&G for years. The AFA uses aggressive, bullying tactics of similiar, or worse, malice of those who throw paint on people who wear fur.

    It’s a full out assault on my community,it shows up in legislation, amendments, schoolboard meetings and in incidents like this to just name a few. But whenever I point it out, I get dismissed as being paranoid.

  • The AFA behavior you describe isn’t just an assault on your community, Steve, it’s an assault on everyone who uses the internet. Malicious server attacks and email bombardments harm not just the target, but other people using the same host and anyone sharing gateways and other parts of those networks. It’s totally irresponsible and inexcusable, and they ought to be both criminally and civilly prosecuted for it.

    The AFA and FOF are relentless and mindlessly destructive. They’re in the same league with the econazis like Peta and Earth First. They need to be stamped out by those of us who still have brains that work.


  • We would appreciate any help anybody is willing to give. 🙂

    In terms of ideology and determination, they might be like Earth First and ELF, etc. but the difference is that those on the left usually target products, fur, new home construction, SUV’s, etc. whereas those on the Right are assaulting liberties, equality, American families and individuals.

  • Y’know what, Mr. Nalle? @$&%! you. My point is there is no compromising equality. You label a demand for equality and a principle-based refusal to settle for less a childish demand? Hopeless. Useless.

  • Change doesn’t come instantly unless it comes out of the barrel of a gun. Are you ready to take up arms against the rest of society to get what you want? If not, then you’re left with political solutions. Politics is the art of compromise, and as compromises go equality in everything but name is pretty damned good. Perhaps you should think of the glass as 98% full instead of 2% empty?


  • Or perhaps I should continue to work for what is right and live by my principles rather than going along to get along with people who are sorely misguided. If equality is the only right thing — and that is my belief — nothing less will do. In fact, being told to settle for less is INSULTING.

  • I didn’t say you had to settle for less and I didn’t mean to insult you. But why can’t you take joy in what is essentially a pretty important victory, while continuing to work towards winning the whole war?


  • Sorry, I don’t and can’t see Jim Crow as a victory. For people like me, it is a regressive move; Jim Crow, separate and unequal, causes profound pain. And there is no happiness, no elation, no joy until there is equality.

    You obviously have little experience in second-class citizenship or you might have the ability to understand even a portion of the suffering the lack of equality causes.

  • If I were black I’m pretty sure I’d be deeply offended by your comparison with the Jim Crow laws. You are restricted from one, purely symbolic equality – assuming you live in Connecticut – and you compare that with segregated dining, water fountains, hotels, restrooms and schools? Are you really that arrogant?

    What’s to stop you – in Connecticut – from registering as a civil union (virtually identical to getting a marriage license and done at the same office) and then going to your local Reformed Lutheran Church and getting the minister to marry you? In what material way is that different from a hetero couple doing exactly the same things?

    And before you go ballistic on me again, remember that I’m fine with full-on gay marriage – I just don’t understand why you can’t be happy with what is essentially the same thing, considering what an enormous step forward it is.


  • I guess you can’t understand then. And yes, I guess in your eyes I *am* that arrogant. Many of my relatives who endured Jim Crow from the persecuted side (and I myself grew up with “colored” water fountains) agree with me. It’s all the same — hatred, exclusion, second-class citizenship, whether based on melanin or sexual orientation. I will not find joy in my continuing second-class status, whatever shiny label you hets choose for it, however often you insist that we should be happy with what we have and the “advances” you so generously have allowed us miserable queers.

    “Purely symbolic equality”? As if. I am talking about real stuff that causes suffering EACH AND EVERY DAY. I live it. Many in my community around your country and the world live with this agony every day. It’s a terrible thing. You don’t see it. A shame, that, but whatever.

    Bottom line: “Essentially the same” is not equal. And recall that this only deals with the statewide portion of this — even in Massachusetts, married same-sex couples are still unmarried in the eyes of the federal government.

    What stops me from registering as a civil union? Integrity.

  • MCH

    Hey Natalie,

    And what’s really scarey is the fact that this self-righteous, pompous bozo (Dave Nalle) used to be a teacher…What a role model for our youth, ehe…?

  • MCH, I know reading is unfamiliar to you, but why don’t you read my comment then read Natalies. In what way is hers an appropriate or rational response to what I said?

    And as for your insults. Since they establish the level of discourse which you’re capable of, they kind of speak for themselves. Call me all the names you like since that’s the best you can do. I’ll take you seriously when you’re capable of making an effective argument of your own or a meaningful refutation of anything I’ve written.


  • Out here in California, Schwarznegger is doing miserably in the polls in terms of overall performance, but the one thing he did do is sign (Democratic created) legislation that puts our ‘domestic partner registry’ (different than civil unions), on a status that is practically equal to marriage. And there was no national hoopla or outcry. People aren’t even aware of it.

    As it stands now, my partner and I have been together for so long, that the federal government does not recognize our relationship, but we have to go to court if we want to separate. Everything’s just getting all confusing and messed up, but I guess having to work this out in the court system, at the tune of trillions of dollars and thousands of lawsuits nationwide, to ‘iron out’ these details, is what everyone wants, rather than do something absurd like just let everybody do the same thing and get married.