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  Connecticut's First Same-Sex Unions Proceed Civilly
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ContributorArmyDem 
Last EditedArmyDem  Oct 02, 2005 03:46pm
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CategoryNews
MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateSunday, October 2, 2005 09:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionLittle Hoopla Surrounds Occasion

By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 2, 2005; Page A03

HARTFORD, Conn., Oct. 1 -- Connecticut became the third state to offer same-sex couples a legal way to unite, issuing its first licenses for "civil unions" Saturday in what seemed too low-key to be a milestone in a cultural fight that has divided the nation.

Here in Hartford -- where a rainbow flag hung outside City Hall and the clerk's office opened for special Saturday hours -- 26 couples came in to get licenses for the unions, which offer the same benefits as traditional marriage under state law.

Some, such as Pablo Santiago, 33, and Edgardo Rivera, 31, went directly to a justice of the peace and had the unions solemnized. Santiago and Rivera, of Hartford, had their ceremony in the atrium of City Hall, embracing after City Clerk Dan Carey said, "I now pronounce you partners in life."

"Wonderful," Santiago said afterward. "Everyone that's in love like we are should do the same thing."

Despite the smiles and occasional tears, this was nothing like the hoopla when Vermont began civil unions in 2000, or the midnight ceremonies that kicked off gay marriage in Massachusetts last year.
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