Last October, the CT Supreme Court ruled that “the state has failed to provide sufficient justification for excluding same sex couples from the institution of marriage.”
Today, nearly 6 months later, a bill to codify the ruling passed out of the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 30 to 10.
The bill also removes gender references in state marriage laws and transforms existing same-sex civil unions into marriages as of October 2010. It now has to be approved by the General Assembly.
Most of the debate Monday centered around religious freedom and the ability of a religious organization to deny a same-sex couple the use of its reception hall for a marriage ceremony.
Rep. Bruce Morris, D-Norwalk, who led the debate on an amendment which ultimately failed, said by exempting religious organizations the state of Connecticut could avoid what happened in state’s like New Jersey where a church lost its tax exempt status for denying a same-sex couple the right to marry on church owned property.[…]
Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, D-New Haven, said Morris’ amendment treated same-sex couples differently than other couples. “What we are doing here today is making sure we are not treating people as other,” Holder-Winfield said. He said Morris’ amendment discriminated against a certain group of people, but Morris argued there are plenty of choices out there.
More info on the bill can be found at the Love Makes a Family website.