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Connecticut became the third state to legally recognize same-sex couples Wednesday, signifying a new era in the gay rights movement and bucking a national trend.

The landmark law permits same-sex partners to enter into civil unions and grants nearly all of the rights and responsibilities available to married couples. Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed the bill late Wednesday afternoon, about an hour after the state Senate gave the measure final legislative approval. It takes effect Oct. 1.


The full Hartford Courant story goes on to note that this particular bill included a provision defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman - which was seen as essential in getting the support of Governor M. Jodi Rell, a Republican. (Rell took over earlier this year after John Rowland was sent to prison in a corruption scandal.)

The fact that it's "just" civil unions is a bit of a disappointment; but the fact that this is something enacted by the legislature and signed by the Governor is a huge counter to the folks who blame "activist judges" for creating new civil rights out of thin air.

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