From the Connecticut Law Tribune:
Same sex couples have a Constitutional right to marry in Connecticut, a narrowly-divided Supreme Court ruled on Friday.
Justices voted 4-3 in favor of the plaintiffs — eight gay couples who tried to obtain marriage licenses in the town of Madison — in the case known as Kerrigan vs. Commissioner of Public Health. […]
“We conclude that, in light of the history of pernicious discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians, and because the institution of marriage carries with it a status and significance that the newly created civil unions does not embody, the segregation of homosexual and heterosexual couples into separate institutions constitutes a cognizable harm,” he wrote.
The ruling went beyond legalizing same-sex marriage. Palmer wrote that “sexual orientation constitutes a quasi-suspect classification for purposes of the equal protection provisions of the state constitution, and, therefore, our statutes discriminating against gay persons are subject to heightened or intermediate judicial scrutiny.”
This intermediate level of constitutional protection means that courts should give added scrutiny to any law that appears to discriminate against homosexuals – and must throw out laws that don’t pass muster.
This level of court scrutiny is one rung lower than constitutional strict scrutiny of the most protected classifications, including race and religion under the state and federal constitutions.
You can read a pdf of the ruling here.
Two of the three dissenters claimed that lesbians and gays are already a super-powerful group and therefore shouldn’t be seen as a suspect class. The third dissenter took the “marriage is about heterosexual reproduction and nothing else” route.