Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today in Gay History

April 21, 2005

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell signed that state's historic Civil Unions law. Even the Log Cabin Republicans bestirred themselves and came out in praise of her actions back then:

" ...Governor Rell becomes the first Governor in history to sign civil union legislation without being forced to do so by the courts. We thank Governor Rell for recognizing that all families deserve basic fairness, including gay and lesbian families," said Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Guerriero.

Legislation establishing civil unions in Connecticut passed the State House and State Senate by wide margins and with bipartisan support. Governor Rell previously signaled her support for civil unions by stating, "I don't believe in discrimination of any sort, and I want people to have equal rights and equal opportunities."

"The Governor's signature on this bill is an important reminder that the fight for basic fairness for gay and lesbian families is a bi-partisan fight," continued Guerriero. "Log Cabin praises the bi-partisan work of the Connecticut legislature and the state and local groups, including Love Makes a Family, who have encouraged this important debate on civil unions and civil marriage equality, . . ."

Governor Rell, having assumed the office in 2004 (upon the less than auspicious and premature departure of her predecessor) learned to navigate the troubled Connecticut political waters. As a Republican she worked toward bipartisan progress with the heavily Democratic state legislature on many issues. She was elected in her own right in 2006 by a wide margin of victory.

In October 2008, the Connecticut Supreme Court struck down the Civil Unions Law declaring it violated the Equal Protection of Laws by creating a separate but unequal system parallel to marriage.


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