Gay and lesbian couples looking to get married in Connecticut-one of the few states that has legalized same-sex marriages-will find it easy to execute a marriage contract in this New England state.
Getting married in Connecticut is as simple for same-sex couples as it is for heterosexual couples. Same-sex marriages have even become somewhat of an industry in many Connecticut towns that border New York. A bona fide same-sex tourism market is emerging that seeks to make the marriage fun for friends, family and guests of the same-sex couple. Local merchants also benefit from the commerce.
In Connecticut, the same-sex marriage process is indeed refreshing for many gay and lesbian couples who have waited years for a safe haven where they can legally marry. Here’s how it works: Both members of the same-sex couple have to appear before the town clerk in order to apply for a marriage license. Frequently, the license is issued immediately for just $ 30. Once the same-sex marriage license is obtained, the couple has 65 days to marry.
Streamlining the process, there are no waiting periods, blood tests or other meaningful obstacles in most cases. Of course, neither party may presently be married or in a civil union with a different person than the co-applicant. Both must be over the age of 18 and the parties may not be close relatives. These same rules apply to traditional marriages.
Finally, the same-sex marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the peace, judge, or clergyman from any state. Officiants are generally easy to find; many justices of the peace actively seek out this business. The parties do not have to be Connecticut residents. And parties who have entered into a civil union or a comprehensive domestic partnership in another state may marry the same partner in Connecticut.
Connecticut may have legalized same-sex marriages, but same-sex couples in Connecticut and beyond may face other legal complications that arise in the wake of matrimony. That’s because the federal government and most other states do not recognize same-sex marriages performed in Connecticut. Same-sex couples may need an attorney to deal with issues like same-sex divorces and other traditional marriage benefits.
Hilary B. Miller is a prominent Connecticut attorney on the cutting edge of same-sex marriage and divorce issues. Miller is also active in pro bono litigation of AIDS-related claims, including family, employment and insurance matters. He graduated from Fordham University School of Law and is admitted to the Connecticut, New York and District of Columbia bars. If you need expert advice on same-sex marriages, visit Miller’s family-law web site at www.ct-divorce.com.
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