Let's be honest, heterosexual married folk... Did this negatively impact your own marriage Today? Will it jeopardize the sanctity of your own marriage tomorrow, or the day after that?
...HARTFORD, Conn. -- Wedding bells rang over the heads of same-sex couples for the first time in Connecticut's history Wednesday.....
Less than two hours after a court ruling became official, Connecticut's first same-sex wedding took place in New Haven.
Having their names scribed in the state's history books are Peg Oliveira and Jennifer Vickery, of New Haven, who wed near a farmer's market next to New Haven City Hall. The couple said their vows and exchanged rings beneath the flashing of camera bulbs amid a crowd eager to witness the historic event.
"We are just so excited that it happened," said Oliveira. "We said, OK, let's go do it."
Corrine Blackmer and her partner, Pilar Steward, are planning for their wedding in May.
"We had a civil union, and now we can get married it's incredibly moving
," Steward said. "Our wedding is going to be a Jewish wedding. We're inviting over 300 people to our wedding."br/>
Barbara Levine-Ritterman and her partner, Robin, were the first in line, filling out the brand-new marriage license application that allows same-sex marriages.
"I feel like my love for Robin is between us, and I have no need to change anybody else’s beliefs," Levine-Ritterman said.
Wednesday morning Judge Jonathan Silbert entered the final judgment, allowing for same-sex couples to marry in Connecticut. The ruling makes any law that prohibits marriage between same-sex couples illegal in the state.
State Rep. Beth Bye and her partner Tracy Wilson told Eyewitness News Tuesday night that they were hoping to be the first to turn their civil union into a legal marriage.
Wilson, a high school teacher and town historian, said she and Bye have been together for more than six years.
"We are very happy to join the world of the married -- the word has meaning, and it has meaning to us," she said. "We feel so lucky to be in Connecticut right now."
Only Connecticut and Massachusetts have legalized gay marriage. The unions were legal in California until last week when voters passed an amendment banning same-sex marriage. A few other states in the country have followed suit. Connecticut voters rejected a ballot question last week proposing a constitutional convention to amend the state's constitution, dealing a major blow to opponents of same-sex marriage.
State Rep. and co-chairman of the Connecticut General Assembly's Judiciary Committee, Mike Lawlor, lectured at the University of New Haven Tuesday night on the subject. He said it's obvious when he speaks about the issue in front of a classroom that people's attitudes are changing.
"I think that speaks a lot about us as a state -- we are open-minded. We embrace and show happy couples should have advantages. Now gay people will share what straight people have enjoyed for many, many years," he said.
The health department had new marriage applications printed that reflect the change. Instead of putting one name under "bride" and the other under "groom," couples will see two boxes marked "bride/groom/spouse."
Joseph Camposeo, Manchester's town clerk and president of the Connecticut Town Clerks Association, said they were notified by e-mail shortly after 9:30 a.m. to start issuing the licenses.
Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of allowing gay marriage in an Oct. 10 decision spurred by a lawsuit filed by eight couples challenged a state law prohibiting gay marriages. Several of the suit's plaintiffs wept openly as Silbert made his ruling Wednesday.
According to studies performed out of UCLA, there are more than 9,500 same-sex couples in Connecticut.
The study said that if Connecticut follows a similar pattern to Massachusetts, about 3,000 same-sex couples will marry in the next year and 4,700 will likely wed after three years.