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Connecticut Marks 10 Years Of Marriage Equality

Fred Bekcham
Joanne Mock, left, and Beth Kerrigan speak to media in front of the Connecticut State Supreme Court in Hartford where they were among plaintiffs in a suit brought after eight same-sex couples were denied marriage licenses in 2007.

Monday was the 10-year anniversary of the court ruling which legalized same-sex marriage in Connecticut.

Beth Kerrigan decided to sue the state after she and her now-wife tried to apply for a marriage license, and were denied.   

Kerrigan said before the case was filed, volunteers fought to change the public’s impression of the LGBTQ community.

“We would have in every town throughout all of Connecticut meetings with our local officials, our state reps, our senators, inviting them into our homes and have roundtables where individuals could talk about their life and why this affected them and what their lives were like. And I think what they learned was, ‘Oh my goodness, their life is just like our life.’”

Kerrigan said gay residents are fortunate to live in a state where they are largely accepted.

However, she said just because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples could marry nationwide in 2015, it doesn’t mean everyone is supportive of the LGBTQ community.

“Even though federally, same-sex marriage has been passed, it doesn’t mean that it has changed the minds and the hearts of people. And that’s what really needs to happen.”

Kerrigan says the state celebrates 10 years, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Connecticut was the third state in the country to legalize same sex marriage, after Massachusetts and California. It was the first to rule that civil unions violated the Equal Protection Clause of the state constitution.