The Connecticut Supreme Court today held that a state statute defining marriage as "the union of one man and one woman" violated the equal protection provisions of the state constitution.
The court observes that "[m]uch of the condemnation of homosexuality derives from firmly held religious beliefs and moral convictions." To the extent the word "homosexuality" refers to homosexual conduct, the court's observation is undoubtedly correct. The court claims not to "equate religious beliefs with prejudice," but its rhetoric belies this assertion:
- "the history of pernicious discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians"
- "a group that historically has been the object of scorn, intolerance, ridicule or worse"
- referring to the "illegitimate reasons that gave rise to the past discrimination"
- "Gay persons have been subjected to and stigmatized by a long history of purposeful and invidious discrimination that continues to manifest itself in society"
- "gay persons have been subjected to such severe and sustained discrimination because of our culture’s long-standing intolerance of intimate homosexual conduct"
The Connecticut Supreme Court plainly has nothing but disgust for traditional sexual ethics, even those rooted in religious commitment. Such rhetoric hardly bodes well for theologically orthodox religious groups who seek constitutional protection from the growing movement to marginalize and punish them.