Same-sex couples exchanged vows Wednesday for the first time in Connecticut, while gay activists planned protests across the country over the vote that took away their right to marry in California.
Surrounded by roses and smiles, Jody Mock and Elizabeth Kerrigan, who led the lawsuit that that overturned the Connecticut law, emerged from West Hartford's town hall to the cheers of about 150 people and waved their marriage license high.
“We feel very fortunate to live in the state of Connecticut, where marriage equality is valued, and hopefully other states will also do what is fair,” Kerrigan said.
The state Supreme Court ruled 4-3 Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a 2005 civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples. Massachusetts is the only other state that allows gay marriages.
Gay marriage advocates said they were planning nationwide demonstrations this weekend in more than 175 cities and outside the U.S. Capitol.
Like courts in Connecticut and Massachusetts, the California Supreme Court ruled this spring that same-sex marriage is legal. After about 18,000 thousand such unions were conducted in California, however, voters last week approved Proposition 8, a referendum banning the practice.
Gay rights groups said Wednesday they plan to ask voters to overturn the ban if legal challenges to Prop 8 are unsuccessful.