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Rell Becomes First Gov. To Sign Gay Marriage Bill

by | Apr 24, 2009 12:28pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: State Capitol

Christine Stuart photo

Gov. M. Jodi Rell became the first governor in the nation to sign a gay marriage bill into law Thursday.

But the momentous event was done with little fanfare. There was no signing ceremony and no press release issued by Rell’s office.

When asked about the bill Friday at a press conference, Rell said, “this bill simply codifies the Supreme Court ruling.” She said if she didn’t sign it, it wouldn’t have made any difference. But if “the legislature took the time to debate and pass the bill, I thought it was necessary to sign,” she said.

In 2005 when Rell became the first governor to sign the civil union law, which allowed same-sex couples to enter into a legal relationship similar to a marriage, she said she thought marriage was only between a man and a woman.

When asked if she thought Rell should have made a bigger fuss over the signing of the bill, Betty Gallo, a lobbyist who has supported and promoted marriage equality for more than a decade said, “We really appreciate the governor signing the bill.”

Gallo said she was excited to tell Rell Friday that she was the first governor in the nation to sign such a bill into law.

In Vermont the legislature overrode the governor’s veto, in Massachusetts the Supreme Court’s decision was never codified by its legislature, and in California the issue was decided by the state’s Supreme Court before it was defeated by voters during last November’s referendum.

“The law of the land has already been established by the Connecticut State Supreme Court,” Rell said Friday.

Upon learning that she signed the bill Thursday, Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, released a statement saying, “Four years ago this week, Governor Rell signed our groundbreaking civil union law, which had broad bipartisan support. Today she signed another landmark piece of bipartisan legislation affirming the rights and dignity of all Connecticut’s citizens.”

The bill, which Rell signed into law Thursday, transforms civil unions into marriages as of Oct. 1, 2010 and redefines marriage as the legal union of two people. It also says religious organizations and associations don’t have to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies.

The bill passed 28 to 7 in the Senate and 100 to 44 in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Kimberly Primicerio contributed to this report

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(16) Archived Comments

posted by: iBlogWestHartford | April 24, 2009  2:56pm

Well, I - don’t - care if she’s acting like some sorta spoiled loser.  It’s SO rare that I get to celebrate the actions of a Connecticut governor. So let me just say, “Best signing of you LIFE, Governor Rell!  Bravo!”

posted by: Walt | April 24, 2009  5:36pm

I would have preferred a veto,  but apparently that would have been overridden anyway.

Glad such places as the KofC halls are exempt but unclear whether exemption for wedding services includes exemption for wedding receptions,

I do not care what they do.  I just prefer they do it at places where I am not likely to be present.

posted by: ctkeith | April 24, 2009  6:21pm

One can’t help but wonder if the Damage Rells signature on this bill did to disgraced former state Senator Lou DeLucas maariage will be fatal to it.

posted by: Kris | April 25, 2009  1:12pm

Hey Walt- I think I wil have my wedding reception at KofC just because I can.Also, I don’t care what heterosexual people do.I just prefer they do it in places where I am not present.There is nothing that turns my stomach more than having to watch a man and women hold hands in public,take wedding pictures outside a churh and have sex on tv.

posted by: Walt | April 26, 2009  4:24pm

Fortunately wedding related services are included in the exemption I have since been told.

Tough Kris,

posted by: kris | April 26, 2009  11:09pm

Walt-to be honest with you I don’t know anybody that wants to rent a hall for a wedding reception,gay or straight.If you can’t afford to have a reception at a place with a little more style and class than I suggest you save up a little more money and wait.Halls are ok for a stag party but wedding reception eeekk that is gross!

posted by: Mark Meloy | April 27, 2009  7:51am

So on a day a landmark piece of legislation is signed, and is a day of celebration for all human rights activists, there is still a idiot gay basher on this site. Can’t you allow one day? Give me a break. It should be expected, especially by anyone that believes the K of C building is a great place for a reception.

posted by: Walt | April 27, 2009  8:47am

There are a few (very few I think) KofC halls in the State. which would be OK for wedding receptions but it was Kris who wished for one not I.


A gay basher just because I prefer not to share facilities with them?

So be it,  if that is your definition, but I would think that to meet the “bashing” definition it would have to be a real rant,  like the straight=person bashing in the first post by Kris.

posted by: Kim Hynes | April 27, 2009  9:12am

One doesn’t have to be a “gay basher” to be someone harboring prejudices.  The problem is that some people view gay people as “other” - as somehow different from themselves, and therefore scary or worthy of disdain.

It will be a bright and awesome day when all of us can view each other as belonging to the same human family - black, brown, white, pink, gay, hetero, transgendered, whatever.

The truth is, we all share more similarities by virtue of being members of the same species than differences.

posted by: Jay | April 27, 2009  9:16am

Well, I am glad this is over.  Don’t get me wrong. I think it is great.  But if the Governor had not signed the bill it would have been overridden.  The only reason she signed the bill was because she wants to look “acceptable” on her resume when she runs for reelection.  For once someone gave her good political advice.

Now, we are all equal, let’s now work on the economic inequalities in the state.  This is by far the overriding issue at present. As someone once so aptly put it, “its the economy stupid.”

posted by: Walt | April 27, 2009  12:01pm

Don’t both the post by Kris,  bashing straight folks in general and that by Mark calling others idiots   and bashing other folks who   may not be able to afford fancy wedding sites qualify as “harboring prejudices ” just as much or more than   my admitted aversion to them?

What hypocrites !

posted by: IBlogWestHatrtford | April 27, 2009  5:08pm

Don’t worry, Walter - we straight folk (even those of us who, through no fault of own, happen to be idiots) are a lot tougher than that. We can take it! 

And if you feel that one of those gay marriages is theatening your OWN marriage, or scaring your children, you just come to me for support. Even straight people can lean on each other!

posted by: Walt | April 27, 2009  6:33pm

Addenda,—add Iblog to the hypocrites list.

posted by: Patricia Kane | April 27, 2009  10:03pm

This is a step forward for equality and human happiness. Let’s enjoy the moment.

posted by: kit | April 28, 2009  12:25am

Sickening - judges imposing their poltiical and social agenda on the public - the Governor had no choice - but at least she did not make a happy ceremony over being forced to sign on to judicial abuse of power.

posted by: IBlogWestHatrtford | April 28, 2009  9:16am

Kit, it’s called “separation of powers.” 

Without it, African-Americans might still be confined to the back of buses, seniors in wheelchairs would be “locked-out” of inaccessible public buildings, and people who couldn’t afford lawyers would have no representation at trial.

Not SO bad, eh?

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