Gay couples to start to marry in Conn.

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While there’s anger and recriminations in California’s gay-rights movement after voters there banned same-sex marriage, gay couples in Connecticut are at the opposite extreme: They’re getting ready to exchange vows.

Superior Court Judge Jonathan Silbert has scheduled a hearing Wednesday morning to enter the final judgment in the case that allows same-sex marriages in Connecticut. Once entered, couples can pick up marriage license forms at town and city clerk’s offices, and some plan get married immediately afterward.

It’s unclear how many couples will wed. According to the state public health department, there have been 2,032 civil union licenses issued in Connecticut between Oct. 2005 and July 2008.

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples.

The health department had new marriage applications printed that reflect the change. Instead of putting one name under “bride” and the other under “groom,” couples will see two boxes marked “bride/groom/spouse.”

Only Connecticut and Massachusetts have legalized gay marriage.

The unions were legal in California until a statewide referendum to ban gay marriage narrowly passed last week. The vote has sparked protests and several lawsuits asking that state’s Supreme Court to overturn the prohibition.

Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage also passed last week in Arizona and Florida, and Arkansas voters approved a measure banning unmarried couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents.

But in Connecticut, voters last week rejected the idea of a constitutional convention to amend the state’s constitution, dealing a major blow to opponents of same-sex marriage.

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

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