Thousands swarmed Connecticut's capitol in a culture clash over civil unions for same sex couples.
According to the Hartford Courant, Capitol police said about 3,000 people spread over the Capitol's north lawn in what sounded like a combination camp meeting and political rally. Those opposed to civil unions outnumbered the 80 or so supporters of same-sex marriages who gathered on the opposite side of the Capitol, staging symbolic marriages.
Opponents of the state's new civil unions law called for repeal of the law and defeat of the politicians who supported it. The law was called immoral and the first step down a slippery slope toward legalization of same-sex marriages:
This is but the first step," said Brian Brown, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, the group that organized the rally against the civil unions law. "The mask is off. Civil union and same-sex marriage differ in name only. Anyone who voted for this legislation voted for same-sex marriage. It is up to us to make sure that marriage remains the union of a man and a woman in our state.
At the gay rights rally the civil union law was criticized for not going far enough.
"Civil unions are a flawed step in the right direction," said Frank O'Gorman of West Hartford, a member of the People Of Faith For Gay Civil Rights. "We want to take our rightful place at the marriage table. We don't want leftovers and we don't want second-class citizenship."
Governor Rell was very politically savvy when she signed the civil union law within an hour of its passage.