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Connecticut judge asked to overturn same-sex marriage ban

[JURIST] A Connecticut Superior Court [official website] on Tuesday began hearing a lawsuit brought by eight same-sex couples who claim that the state's marriage law is unconstitutional because it treats heterosexual couples differently than same-sex couples by defining marriage as existing only between a man and a woman. The lawsuit [GLAD case documents] was filed in 2004 with the assistance of the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) [advocacy website]. Connecticut Assistant Attorney General Jane Rosenberg defended the marriage law Tuesday, saying gays do not have a fundamental right to marry. Last year, the state approved civil unions for same-sex couples [JURIST report], giving them the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples, but the eight couples are arguing that the marriage law still causes them to be treated as a separate class of citizens.

The Supreme Court of Connecticut [official website] is currently deciding whether to allow the Family Institute of Connecticut [advocacy website] to intervene in the case. The anti-gay marriage group claims that the Connecticut Attorney General's Office [official website] has not been vigorous enough in defending the state's marriage laws. AP has more.

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