- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 21, 2005

Traditional values groups yesterday denounced Connecticut’s new civil union law while homosexual rights groups pledged to continue their quest for full “marriage” rights.

On Wednesday, Connecticut lawmakers passed a bill that creates civil unions for homosexual couples and defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican, promptly signed the bill, making Connecticut the second state after Vermont to have such a law.

“By legalizing civil unions, Connecticut has shown a profound disregard for the sanctity of the institution of marriage,” said Donald Wildmon, chairman of the American Family Association in Tupelo, Miss.

“Marriage is between one man and one woman, and granting the privileges of marriage to same-sex couples and simply calling it ‘civil union’ is not fooling anyone,” he said yesterday.

Connecticut’s law, which takes effect Oct. 1, “is a major step toward ensuring equality for all families,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest homosexual rights advocacy group.

“Marriage,” however, remains the goal for same-sex couples, he said, adding that one day, there shouldn’t be a need for “two lines” for marriage licenses at a town clerk’s office.

Civil unions, like marriages, are licensed and solemnized by justices of the peace, ordained clergy or other officials. Civil union partners are treated as spouses under state law, and couples wishing to end their civil unions must undergo a dissolution process that may include alimony and child support.

However, unlike marriages, civil unions are not recognized in other states or by federal law.

Many traditional values groups reject civil unions as “faux” marriages that undermine the institution of marriage.

“Civil unions themselves are an erosion of marriage,” said Glen Lavy, of the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona legal group that opposes same-sex “marriage.”

Adding a section to Connecticut’s law that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman “does little to protect marriage,” Mr. Lavy said. “Only a constitutional amendment can put marriage out of the reach of activists who seek to use the court to tamper with the most foundational institution of our society.”

Ironically, most homosexual rights groups oppose civil unions, which they view as “second class” marriages. As a result, when Connecticut lawmakers started talking about civil union legislation last year, the state’s largest homosexual rights group, Love Makes a Family, was cool toward the idea.

Love Makes a Family eventually agreed to support civil unions, but the “conversation about marriage equality” will continue, the group’s president, Anne Stanback, promised this week.

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