The new bill, which passed 28-7 in the Senate and 100-44 in the House, will update the Connecticut's marriage law books to conform to the state's Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in the state. Before, the law defined marriage as a union between a man and woman.
The bill wasn't needed to allow same-sex marriage, but supporters said it was needed to phase out civil unions. The bill calls for such unions to be transformed to marriages on October 1, 2010, unless the couple applies for a marriage license beforehand.
Naturally resistant to the end, same-sex marriage foes, ignorant of the protections that they already have, were given added protection for their religious liberties through an amendment to the bill. It states religious organizations and associations are not required to provide services, goods or facilities for same-sex wedding ceremonies.
"We wanted to make it completely clear that the state of Connecticut fully embraces not only the rights of same-sex couples to marry, but we fully embrace the rights and protections afforded by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Connecticut Constitution to the free exercise of religion," said openly gay Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford.