April 21, 2005
Connecticut Governor signs Civil Unions law, becoming only the second state to do so legislatively without being compelled by the courts. While affirming that marriage was only to be between one man and one woman, the key provisions of the new Civil Unions law were:
Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2005) A person is eligible to enter into a civil union if such person is:
(1) Not a party to another civil union or a marriage;
(2) Of the same sex as the other party to the civil union;
(3) Except as provided in section 10 of this act, at least eighteen years of age; and
(4) Not prohibited from entering into a civil union pursuant to section 3 of this act.
Sec. 14. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2005) Parties to a civil union shall have all the same benefits, protections and responsibilities under law, whether derived from the general statutes, administrative regulations or court rules, policy, common law or any other source of civil law, as are granted to spouses in a marriage, which is defined as the union of one man and one woman.
Sec. 15. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2005) Wherever in the general statutes the terms "spouse", "family", "immediate family", "dependent", "next of kin" or any other term that denotes the spousal relationship are used or defined, a party to a civil union shall be included in such use or definition, and wherever in the general statutes, except sections 7-45 and 17b-137a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, subdivision (4) of section 45a-727a, sections 46b-20 to 46b-34, inclusive, section 46b-150d of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and section 14 of this act, the term "marriage" is used or defined, a civil union shall be included in such use or definition.
Meanwhile, a year or so later, the Supreme Court of Connecticut ruled that legal Marriage constitutionally could not be denied to same sex couples. The separate establishment of mere Civil Unions did not meet constitutional muster.