Connecticut's state Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that would make Connecticut the first state to recognize same-sex civil unions without court pressure.
Governor Jodi Rell has said she will sign it into law.
The legislation was approved by Connecticut's House of Representatives last week, but the House included an amendment to define marriage under Connecticut law as between one man and one woman.
According to the Hartford Courant, State Senator Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a key proponent of civil unions, called the amendment defining marriage "an unfortunate symbolic gesture by some legislators."
The legislation will give same sex couples all the rights and privileges of marriage under Connecticut law with the exception of an actual marriage license.
Connecticut will become only the second state to allow civil unions. Vermont has civil unions and Massachusetts has gay marriage.