[JURIST] The Connecticut Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments Monday in the case [SC 17716 docket] of eight gay couples who are unhappy with Connecticut's civil unions law and are seeking full marriage rights. Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) [advocacy website] attorney Bennett Klein, representing the couples, argued [brief, PDF; GLAD backgrounder] that the fundamental principles of marriage are not grounded in gender, and by granting secular marriage only to heterosexual couples, the state violated equal protection laws under the Connecticut constitution [text]. The Connecticut Attorney General's office [official website] in turn argued that a 2006 Superior Court decision [PDF text; JURIST report] was correct, and that civil unions provide same-sex couples the same benefits and protections as traditional marriages, rejecting the equal protection challenge.
Currently only Massachusetts recognizes full same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. Last month, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) [official website] introduced a bill that would legalize gay marriage in that state [JURIST report]. AP has more.