The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill allowing civil unions for gay couples on an 85-63 vote and Governor Rell signed the bill less than an hour after it was passed. The final version contains language that says that “marriage” is still defined as the union of a man and a woman, but the bill itself affords equal legal protections to civil unions between gay couples. It may not be a complete victory, but it’s a monumental step forward as the first time an elected legislature has granted such protections without court action first. The reaction by gay rights groups hits the perfect balance:
“Connecticut’s legislature has recognized the existence and reality of same-sex families, and has stepped up to the plate to provide those families with much-needed protections,” said Mary L. Bonauto, director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders Civil Rights Project.
“They have not chosen the simplest, fairest way to provide those protections – marriage – but we look forward to the time when Connecticut’s same-sex couples will be able to legally wed.”
Bingo. Now here will be the real proof that the arguments against gay marriage and how it will allegedly damage real marriages is nonsense – Connecticut currently has the second lowest divorce rate in the nation, behind only Massachusetts (the two of them combined don’t equal the divorce rates in Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alabama, Wyoming, Indiana, Arizona, Kentucky or several other so-called “red states”). Shall we place bets on where those states will stand in, say, 5 years in terms of divorce rate? I bet they’ll still be at the top of the list in terms of low divorce rates.
Incidentally, Spain’s lower house also just passed a gay marriage bill in that country. It now moves on to the Spanish Senate, who are expected to pass it. Gay marriage will likely be legal in Spain by summer. They will join most of Northern Europe and Canada as nations recognizing gay marriage. The US will eventually join them as well, despite the fevered and irrational opposition.