The marriage debate in Connecticut is not over.

Now that the Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled same-sex couples have the right to wed, opponents of gay marriage are pinning their hopes on an infrequent ballot question in a longshot bid to block the unions.

Every 20 years, voters can force a convention during which delegates can rewrite the entire constitution. It’s a long, painstaking process that could cost millions and, by coincidence, it’s on the ballot this November.

“This is our one opportunity for the people to have a voice, for the people to be heard, for them to decide whether marriage will be protected as between a man and a woman,” said Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut.

On Friday, the state Supreme Court ruled that Connecticut would be the third state, after California and Massachusetts, to allow gay marriage. The court said Connecticut’s 2005 civil union law doesn’t give same-sex couples the same status as married heterosexual couples.

Unlike California, where next month’s ballot referendum will decide whether to outlaw gay marriage, Connecticut voters are being asked to consider only if they want a constitutional convention. If so, convention delegates would be appointed by the state General Assembly, which is largely comprised of Democrats who are sympathetic to same-sex issues.

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