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Connecticut legislature approves same-sex marriage bill to comply with court ruling

[JURIST] The Connecticut General Assembly [official website] on Wednesday approved a bill [HB 7395 materials] granting same-sex couples [JURIST news archive] the right to marry. The legislation codified the October ruling [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] by the Connecticut Supreme Court [official website], which held that the Connecticut Constitution [text] requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry. The Connecticut Senate voted 28-7 to approve the bill, while the state's House of Representatives approved it by a vote of 100-44. The bill would turn all previous civil unions into marriages starting in October 2010. An amendment [News Times report] was also included with the legislation that allows religious groups to deny services and goods to same-sex couples for weddings and other functions. Governor M. Jodi Rell [official website] has said she will sign the legislation [Courant report].

If approved, the legislation would make Connecticut the second state to officially sanction same-sex marriage via a vote of the legislature. Vermont [JURIST report] was the first state to do so earlier this month. Two other states, Massachusetts and Iowa [JURIST reports], have also approved same-sex marriages through a high court ruling. California [JURIST news archive] had allowed same-sex marriages until November 2008, when Proposition 8 passed 52-48.

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