October 10, 2008 (CMN), in a statement to Cable Muse Network, NJLJA released
In a 4-3 decision, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled
today that the state's ban on permitting marriage rights for same-sex couples was discriminatory. In an 85-page decision
the state's highest court determined that Connecticut's civil unions did not create protections equal to those available
to heterosexual married couples.
Same-sex couples will likely be allowed to marry by the end of the year.
On November 4, 2008, voters in Connecticut will decide whether to hold a constitutional convention. According to an article
posted on Courant.com, the Web site of the Hartford Courant newspaper, "[those] in favor of the convention want direct
initiative, which would allow for a statewide referendum on same-sex marriage by all voters."
In 2003, the
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under state law, and marriages commenced
in May 2004. The California Supreme Court in May issued a similar ruling, and voters there will decide a ballot measure that
would overrule the court decision. Marriages began this summer.
While California's Proposition 8 has received
widespread national media attention, voters in other states will consider marriage-related initiatives this November.
Florida's ballot includes a constitutional amendment that says: "No other legal union that is treated as marriage
or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."
And Arizona voters will consider a constitutional
amendment that says: "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state."
The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) reminds journalists, bloggers, columnists and media
analysts the important role they play in giving citizens the information they need to understand the full impact that today's
ruling will have in their communities and across the country.
Journalists covering the issues of same-sex marriage,
civil unions and partnership rights should familiarize themselves with specifics of the Connecticut case, the history of other
cases involving marriage rights for LGBT individuals and the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.