April 23, 2009

Bristol lawmakers split on gay marriage measure

City lawmakers split on a controversial measure to implement the state Supreme Court's ruling that gay marriage was legal in Connecticut.
Two legislators who represent the city backed the bill while three others opposed it, according to the vote tally sheets posted on the General Assembly's website.
Backing the bill, after it was amended to exempt religious organizations and their affiliates, were state Sen. Tom Colapietro, a Bristol Democrat, and state Rep. Chris Wright, another Democrat.
Opposing it were state Reps. Bill Hamzy, a Plymouth Republican whose district includes northwestern Bristol; Betty Boukus, a Plainville Democrat whose district includes a piece of Forestville; and Frank Nicastro, a Bristol Democrat.
Hamzy said the measure “did more than just codify” the ruling last fall that mandated recognition of gay marriages in the state.
He said that “phones were literally ringing off the hooks” from constituents urging him to vote against the measure because it went too far.
Hamzy, who has represented the 78th District since 1994, said he wanted the bill to include a provision to let parents have their children opt out of any school discussions of gay marriage, as they can with sex education now.
He also said the wording of the final version “left an open door to litigation” that could have been closed with more careful writing of ambiguous language.
Moreover, Hamzy said, he didn’t appreciate that the Democratic majority gave him only 15 minutes warning that the much-debated proposal would be dealt with Wednesday evening.
Colapietro’s 31st District includes Bristol, Plymouth, Plainville and part of Harwinton.
From this legislative web page, you can read the text of the bill and who voted for what.
I wasn't able to reach any of the legislators except for Hamzy. That's my fault, though, since I was at City Hall and unreachable so they couldn't call me back. Hamzy, fortunately, was at his desk when I phoned.

Note: This piece is updated to reflect that Nicastro voted NO, not YES, I originally thought.
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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that the voters have been banned from deciding such a controversial issue .

At least if the voters were allowed to opportunity to VOTE , the seated legislators would have a truer understanding of the will of the people .

Concerned Conservative said...

Digusting.

Anonymous said...

to 10:25 a.m. - what part of "representative democracy" don't you get?

besides, voters like you and me did have the opportunity to vote on this issue back in November... and the majority of us voted a resounding NO to the constitutional convention, which would have opened the door to amending and revising the CT constitution to ban gay marriage and take action on other hot-button issues.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
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Concerned Conservative said...

Some feel that changing a law and a norm that is over 2000 years old should be left to the people not a "court" of activist liberal elitist judges.

Anonymous said...

Great day for the state of ct.

Anonymous said...

The will of the majority should not impact the rights of the minority (although I think the majority in the state of CT would still vote to approve gay marriage). If it did, we could still have slavery and sexism as the norm.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
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Anonymous said...

I would like to marry my dog, is that okay too?

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
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Anonymous said...

Conserned (phony) Consertive is just as disgusting. Coward !!!!

Concerned Conservative said...

anon westconn student:

I somewhat agree with your argument. I don't however agree that a same sex couple provides (generally) anywhere near as good a nurturing nuclear family as a traditional couple. I do not think that same sex couples should stand in line in front of traditional couples when adopting. I believe that the laws regarding benefits for married couples were created with the thought of a traditional couple raising their children. In other words we (tradtioanlly married couples) get a break because we create offspring, something two men (for example) are incapable of.

Anonymous said...

Giving acceptance to homo-sexuals by the Catholic Church has done remarkable things for their reputation .

Now that homo-sexuals have been given free reign in our education system , the Unions are going to be kept quite busy covering up the atrocities committed in our public schools .

Anonymous said...

All these reasons were used 50 years ago to justify racism. It's no different. You people have just cleaned up your act. Now you claim that YOU don't hate gays - it's God who hates gays and you're just doing His will. Hypocrites.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
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Concerned Conservative said...

Apparently in Connecticut (at least in the Supreme Court and the Democrat controlled Legislature)sodomy between two men has become socially acceptable in all aspects of life.

Perhaps someday polygamy and incest will be as well? Call Representatives Nicastro and Wright and ask them.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
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Anonymous said...

I think you could apply the supreme Court comments to polygamy and incest. We're on our way.

Concerned Conservative said...

Nobody's perfect. Guiliani has a racy personal life but on the other hand he lead the destruction of the "5 families" (of the mafia) from New York City and he tranformed a dismal, cess-pool of a city into one that's decent. But you're too young and too partisan to appreceiate that.

And Gingrich is very smart and led great transformation of government including welfare reform.

But again, I don't care about that. I just believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.

cseguin said...

@ Concerned Conservative:

On the sodomy issue, the US Supreme Court spoke in Lawrence v. Texas, striking down a Texas sodomy law and effectively striking down any laws that criminalized sodomy. The CT Supreme Court was just the latest state court to use that case as support for legalizing gay marriage.

As to some of the other points:

The Supreme Court framed the issue around homosexuals being a "protected class." Looking at the phrasing used, and in light of the rest of the opinion, I'm not sure how you could stretch it to polygamy and incest.

Also, as to "activist" judges; I'm as conservative as the next guy on a number of issues (particularly economics), but judges are always going to be "activist" to a certain degree. There will always be situations where the judiciary and legislature are stepping on each other's toes, just by virtue of their Constitutional duties.

It's just such an inflammatory issue that, no matter which way the Supreme Court ruled, there would be a big outcry. Gay marriage has arguably become THE political and social issue of the day.

Anonymous said...

Tradition alone never can provide sufficient cause to discriminate against a protected class,
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Too bad there isn't anyone to protect the VAST MAJORITY of CONNECTICUT

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of Connecticut doesn't really have a problem with this. It's some insecure loudmouths who speak and act out of fear and hatred that make it a hot issue.