Ben Klein opened his argument by addressing the separate and unequal status of civil unions, referencing historical cases relating primarily to race-based discrimination and stating that separate institutions for minority groups are unheard of in US jurisprudence today. He further stated that the law understands that the legal mechanism of creating separate institutions has no purpose other than to mark one group of citizens as inferior and unworthy, and to deny them a set of rights available to other citizens.
While stating clearly that he did not wish to equate the civil rights struggle of gay and lesbian citizens with that of African-Americans, Ben made the point that race discrimination cases have become the paradigm for what the constitution requires, and, relevant to the sex-based discrimination claim in this case, that race- and sex-based classifications are analyzed exaclty the same under Article 1 Section 20 of the Connecticut constitution.
Justices Norcott and Borden, and Appellate Judge Harper, began the questioning during Ben's remarks by questioning the applicability of the civil rights cases cited by GLAD, including Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia.
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