Is CT’s Civil Union Statute Unconstitutional?

I don’t have a ton of time today so this is some thinking out loud.

Here’s my question: Is it unconstitutional for the State to deny opposite sex couples the ability to enter into a civil union?

Here are the eligibility requirments for civil unions in Connecticut:

 A person is eligible to enter into a civil union if such person is:

      (1) Not a party to another civil union or a marriage;

      (2) Of the same sex as the other party to the civil union;

      (3) At least eighteen years of age; and

      (4) Not prohibited from entering into a civil union pursuant to section 46b-38cc. Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46b-38bb.

What if an opposite sex couple for whatever reason wanted to enter into a civil union instead of a marriage? They’d be denied a civil union license.

In light of Kerrigan, I’m not sure what the courts would do with such a claim. As of today, same-sex couples have the option of either marriage or a civil union while opposite sex couples have no such choice. Is there a valid reason for treating the groups seperately?

What are your thoughts?

Ryan McKeen is a trial attorney at Connecticut Trial Firm, LLC in Glastonbury, Connecticut. In 2016, he was honored by the CT Personal Injury Hall of Fame for securing one of the highest settlements in the state. He is a New Leader in the Law. ABA 100. Avvo 10. 40 under 40 for Hartford Business Journal. He has been quoted in Time Magazine, the New York Times, Hartford Courant, Wall Street Journal Law Blog and the Hartford Business Journal. He focuses his practice on Connecticut Personal Injury law. He loves what he does. Contact him or 860 471 8333

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