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Ruling won't
affect Connecticut bill to recognize out-of-state marriages

Ruling won't
affect Connecticut bill to recognize out-of-state marriages

A Connecticut legislative committee in Hartford failed to act this year on a bill that would have required Connecticut to recognize same-sex marriages from Massachusetts and countries such as Canada. Democratic representative Mike Lawlor, cochair of the committee, said he may still bring up the bill for a vote. But even if it passes, he said, it won't change the impact of Thursday's Massachusetts supreme judicial court ruling that couples living in states where same-sex marriage is prohibited can't get married in the Bay State. Connecticut's civil union law gives gay couples in the state the same rights as heterosexual married couples but defines marriage as between one man and one woman. "In a sort of roundabout way, it is relevant to Connecticut, because at the end of the day, any levelheaded person thinks this is all crazy," Lawlor said. "If you're a lawfully married same-sex couple from Massachusetts and you get in an accident or whatever, why should Connecticut treat you as strangers? We're trying to deal with that problem." Lawlor said recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages makes sense because Connecticut recognizes common-law marriages from other states even though there is no such arrangement in Connecticut. State attorney general Richard Blumenthal ruled in September that Connecticut would not recognize same-sex marriages from Massachusetts but would recognize civil unions from Vermont and domestic partnerships from California. Because Connecticut doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, married couples from Massachusetts are eligible for civil unions. The bill would give married gay couples from Massachusetts the same rights as couples who have had civil unions in Connecticut, including the right to dissolve their partnerships. "There's an obvious simple solution," Lawlor said. "Just call them all marriages and get it over with." (AP)

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