Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Lauds Connecticut Supreme Court


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October 10, 2008 (NEW YORK) – The Columbia Law School Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Connecticut Supreme Court marriage equality case, lauds the state high court ruling, which requires Connecticut to provide marriage to same-sex couples.

Today’s ruling in Elizabeth Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health makes Connecticut the second state in New England and the third state in the United States to recognize marriage rights for same-sex couples.

“It is fundamentally unfair, unequal, and unconstitutional to create separate relationship rules for same-sex and different-sex couples, as the Connecticut Supreme Court recognized,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, Director of the Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic.

“The Connecticut high court, like the high courts in California and Massachusetts decisions, did precisely what a court is supposed to do,” added Goldberg. “The Court reviewed Connecticut’s two sets of relationship recognition rules – marriage for some, civil unions for others – and found the state lacked a good explanation treating similar couples so differently.”

Specifically, the Court rejected as insufficient Connecticut’s justifications for the unequal relationship rules. Connecticut had argued that marriage/civil union distinction was necessary to promote uniformity with other states and preserving the traditional definition of marriage.

The Clinic’s brief was filed on behalf of the American Association of University Women in Connecticut, the Asian American Justice Center, Senator Lowell Weicker, and others. In addition to the Clinic, amici’s counsel included advocates at Quinnipiac Law School and the Stamford, Connecticut firm of Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky. Sexuality and Gender Clinic student Eddie Jauregui ’07 assisted with the brief.

Columbia Law School’s Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic was founded in September 2006 by Professor Suzanne Goldberg. Students work on a broad variety of projects related to gender equality and LGBTQ rights. For more information, please visit the Clinic website at

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