Connecticut's legislature moved closer to legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples, as a key panel approved a measure that could make it the first state in the country to recognize gay unions through legislative action rather than court order.
The legislature's Joint Judiciary Committee voted 25-13 to pass a bill Wednesday that would give gay and lesbian couples the same state rights as married heterosexuals, except for the right to obtain a marriage license.
Proponents said Thursday the civil unions measure has bipartisan support among lawmakers and will likely pass the House and Senate by early June, when the session ends.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican, has not said whether she would sign the bill, saying she would study the precise wording if it comes to her desk. Rell has said she is in favor of civil rights for same-sex couples but believes marriage is between a man and a woman.
Vermont is the only state that allows civil unions for same-sex couples, following a ruling by the Vermont Supreme Court in 2000. Massachusetts' high court went one step further when it legalized gay marriage last year.
Friday, February 25, 2005
zoe kentucky | Friday, February 25, 2005 |