Marriage Equality USA

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State of Connecticut
All in this Region

Current Status

  • Civil marriage equality in effect at the state level since 2008. (Same-sex couples may legally marry.)
  • Marriage equality recognized by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. Tribal law states that, "Two persons may be joined in marriage on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation," without specifying gender.


  • In 2005, Connecticut became the second state in the U.S., following Vermont, to adopt civil unions, and the first to do so without judicial intervention.
  • Connecticut was the third state to legalize marriage equality following Massachusetts (2004) and California (2008).
  • All existing civil unions were automatically converted to marriages on 1 October 2010.

Legislation - Pending


Legislation - Enacted

SB 899/Public Act 09-13 - An Act Implementing the Guarantee of Equal Protection Under the Constitution of the State for Same Sex Couples

Date Introduced: March 2009
Date Enacted: 23 April 2009
A public act to implement the decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court in Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health (see Lawsuits - Resolved  below), provide for the recognition of marriages and relationships providing substantially the same rights, benefits and responsibilities entered into in another state or jurisdiction and provide for the merger of existing civil unions into marriages.



Lawsuits - Pending


Lawsuits - Resolved

Passaro v. Bayer Corporation Pension Plan

Case #: 3:14-cv-00671-WWE
Date Filed: 12 May 2014
Ruling Date: 8 September 2014


  • A CT man sued for survivor benefits from his deceased spouse's employer, the Bayer Corporation. 
  • 8 September 2014, the parties involved reached agreement upon a mutual settlement and a notice of voluntary dismissal was issued.
Cardona v. Shinseki

Case #: 11-3083
Date Filed: 13 October 2011
Ruling Date: 11 March 2014


  • This case was an appeal of the decision by the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA), which confirmed the denial of disability benefits based on its conclusion that Cardona's wife was not a "spouse" for purposes of veterans' benefits even though their marriage was/is valid under Connecticut law.
  • Oral argument was originally scheduled for 29 November 2012, but on 8 November 2012 BLAG requested it be postponed for forty-five days, pending the U.S. Supreme Court's disposition of petitions for writs of certiorari in several other cases challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA (Massachusetts v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management, Windsor v. United States, and Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management). The court granted the delay over Cardona's objections.
  • On 18 December 18 2012, the court ordered the case "stayed pending resolution of Windsor or until further order of the Court."
  • 11 March 2014, the Court issued its final decision, dismissing the appeal as moot and setting aside the 2011 decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeal.
Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health

Case #: 17716
Date Filed:
25 August 2004
Ruling Date:
28 October 2008


  • 25 August 2004, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) filed a lawsuit on behalf of seven (later eight) Connecticut same-sex couples in State Superior Court, challenging the state's denial of the right to marry to same-sex couples. All had been denied marriage licenses in Madison and several were raising children. They argued that this violated the equality and liberty provisions of the Connecticut Constitution.
  • July 2006, Judge Patty Jenkins Pittman ruled against the plaintiffs, who then appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court
  • The Connecticut Supreme Court was asked to determine whether the state statutory prohibition against same-sex marriage denied gay persons equal protection under the Connecticut State Constitution. The court held that sexual orientation is a quasi-suspect classification, such that laws discriminating against gay persons are subject to intermediate scrutiny. Because laws restricting civil marriage to opposite-sex couples do not serve important governmental objectives and because the discriminatory means were not substantially related to the achievement of the government‘s objectives, the State violated the same-sex couples‘ constitutional equal protection rights.


Ballot Initiatives - Pending


Ballot Initiatives - Passed



  • 11 October 2011, In a poll by Public Policy Polling, 55% of Connecticut voters surveyed think same-sex marriage should remain legal. Poll Details
  • 23 December 2008, the results of a Quinnipiac University poll showed that 52% of the CT voters polled supported the CT Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling, while 39% opposed it. 9% were undecided. But voters strongly opposed amending Connecticut's constitution to ban same-sex marriage, 61% to 33%. Given three choices, 43% of voters agreed same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, while 39% supported civil unions and 12% opposed any legal recognition.