From today’s Courant:

The state Supreme Court’s new chief justice, Chase T. Rogers, will not preside over the most significant case to be heard by the court this year, in which eight couples are challenging the ban on same-sex marriage.

The landmark constitutional case, Kerrigan et al v. the state Department of Public Health, will be argued before a full panel of the court May 14.

Rogers confirmed through a spokesperson Tuesday that she is not hearing the case because members of her husband’s law firm, Robinson & Cole, authored a friend-of-the-court brief for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. Lambda is a national organization that supports gay marriage and has been involved in lawsuits in six states where same-sex couples sought the right to marry…

Senior Justice William J. Sullivan will sit in Rogers’ place on the full panel of seven justices. Each side has been allotted 90 minutes to argue the case – three times the normal time limit. Arguments are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

It remains to be seen whether Sullivan’s is a swing vote on the seven-member panel. He is a devout Catholic who wrote a separate concurrence in a 2003 fetal assault case to emphasize that a fetus may be more than a “member” of a woman’s body, in the language of the assault statute.

It’s gratuitous of the Courant to describe Sullivan as a “devout Catholic” in the context of his concurrence on a fetal assault case. The paper never describes the Judiciary Committee co-chairs–Sen. Andrew McDonald and Rep. Michael Lawlor–as “openly gay” in articles on their push for same-sex “marriage.” Why the different standard for Catholics?

Plus, guesses on how the court will rule are notoriously unreliable. At first blush the news regarding Rogers and Sullivan appears to be a win for the pro-family cause. But Superior Court Judge Pittman’s ruling against same-sex “marriage” surprised people on both sides. The Supreme Court could hand down a few surprises as well.

Brian will be discussing the latest turn of events in the next issue of the Connecticut Law Tribune. He will also appear on the Dan Lovallo show at 3:30 today to discuss the Courant’s same-sex “marriage” poll.

21 Responses to “New Chief Justice Won’t Hear Same-Sex “Marriage” Case”

  1. on 02 May 2007 at 8:38 amCTDemGirl79

    The paper never describes the Judiciary Committee co-chairs–Sen. Andrew McDonald and Rep. Michael Lawlor–as “openly gay” in articles on their push for same-sex “marriage.” Why the different standard for Catholics?

    From “The Courant”:

    April 7, 2005
    “McDonald, who is openly gay, introduced the bill Wednesday by telling his colleagues it was time to extend more protections for same-sex couples.”

    April 14, 2005
    “…Rep. Evelyn Mantilla, D-Hartford, who is openly gay..”

    March 3, 2005
    “Hartford generally is politically hospitable on gay issues — in fact, two of its six-member state House delegation are openly gay…”

    I would keep going for effect, but I imagine Peter is capable of doing a LexisNexis search on his own.

  2. on 02 May 2007 at 4:43 pmPeter

    You’ve got one cite–the first–that’s relevant. And it’s two years old. So I guess I should have said “almost never.”

  3. on 02 May 2007 at 5:04 pmChris

    Here’s some more for you Peter:

    From the “New Haven Register”:

    April 16, 2007
    “True, the panel’s co-chairmen, state Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, D-East Haven, and state Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, were very strong supporters of the gay marriage bill. Lawlor and McDonald are two of the legislature’s more respected members. They are also among the General Assembly’s small number of openly gay lawmakers.”

    April 13, 2007
    “The two openly gay chairmen of the judiciary panel, state Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, D-East Haven, and state Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, also made impassioned civil rights arguments in favor of the bill.”

    From the “Stamford Advocate”:

    April 13, 2007
    “But, as McDonald noted yesterday, Massachusetts’ decision was the result of a 2003 ruling by its Supreme Court. “We are going to do it, not because a court told us we had to, but we believe what is right,” McDonald said. Both he and Lawlor are gay.”

    From the “Associated Press”:

    April 13, 2007
    “Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee and one of a handful of openly gay legislators, said marriage and civil unions are not the same to Connecticut’s gay and lesbian couples. ”

    Are those recent enough for you, Peter?

  4. on 02 May 2007 at 5:18 pmPeter

    It would be if I were speaking of the MSM in general rather than the Courant.

  5. on 02 May 2007 at 6:41 pmPhil

    It does seem a little odd for the Courant mentions the judge’s Catholicism, but I don’t think it directly compares to sexual orientation status. The Catholic Church is a membership organization (according to some sources, the largest in the United States) with a hierarchy distinct from most other religions.

    Being “openly gay” is certainly different from being gay, but it’s a harder fact to prove, and since allegations of homosexuality have resulted in libel lawsuits, it may be that a newspaper’s style manual or editorial staff discourage denoting sexual orientation in every instance. (Then, too, imagine how boring the paper would read if it listed off everyone who was “openly heterosexual.”)

  6. on 02 May 2007 at 8:29 pmchele

    Is there something shameful about being a “devout Catholic?”

  7. on 02 May 2007 at 8:35 pmchele

    Is there something shameful about being a “devout Catholic?”

    Are you suggesting that Judge Sullivan — or any other devout adherent to ANY belief system — does not make decisions which are informed by those beliefs?

    Hasn’t YOUR Catholic upbringing influenced YOUR beliefs? If you were raised in an agnostic or atheist family by agnostic or atheist parents, would you be doing what you’re now doing with your life?

    Yet you constantly take offense at having your religion referenced.

    Aren’t you supposed to be proud of your beliefs, proud to be standing up for them, and proud of Judge Sullivan for doing the same?

  8. on 03 May 2007 at 10:19 amSteve

    Is there something shameful about being a “devout Catholic?”

    Ah chele… You know as well as I that it’s all about perspective. Let’s suppose a converse reality for a moment; that the Courant were a conservative paper servicing right wingers (think very, very hard) – and they routinely printed names of known homosexuals in varying contexts. It doesn’t take much imagination to envision the outcry of bigotry and bias from the left. But of course, you would just tell homosexuals to pipe up and “be proud” of who they are. After all, it’s not bias to simply print truth, right?

    Peter asks, “Why the different standard for Catholics?” Because the Courant understands that it is acceptable to be biased against Christians, and their understanding lines up with their world view. They also understand that, even here in the liberal state of CT, people still generally have a negative view of homosexuality – and they don’t want to give their boys bad press.

    If the Courant had the courage, integrity and capacity to consistently report without bias from every reasonable perspective, the right would have no beef. The right has a beef.

  9. on 03 May 2007 at 6:00 pmchele


    Where exactly is the bias in mentioning that Judge Sullivan is a devout Catholic? To what “different standard” is he being held by the Courant?

    Let’s be honest here. You’re very pleased that Judge Sullivan will be sitting in this matter BECAUSE he is a devout Catholic and you’re hoping that will help your side.

    If Judge Rogers hadn’t recused herself, you’d be shouting to the rooftops that she was biased due to Robinson & Cole’s amicus brief. You’d be squealing like stuck pigs.

    I’ve got no problem with McDonald and Lawlor being described as homosexuals in the media, when it is appropriate. I haven’t heard them complain about it.

    You shouldn’t have any problem with devout Catholics being identified as such when it is appropriate.

  10. on 03 May 2007 at 9:58 pmCTDemGirl79

    You’ve got one cite–the first–that’s relevant. And it’s two years old. So I guess I should have said “almost never.”

    First, I think the other two citations are perfectly relevant, if your argument is that The Courant is biased in favor of liberal, openly gay legislators who support same-sex marriage. They are only irrelevant if your argument is that The Courant is biased in favor of Mike Lawlor and Andrew McDonald.

    Secondly, I didn’t realize this was going to turn into a research project, but here are some more from THC:

    June 9, 2003
    said state Sen. Andrew McDonald (D-Stamford), the first openly gay legislator in the state. (Note: to the best of my knowledge, that isn’t true).

    February 15, 2005
    Colapietro was quickly criticized on an Internet bulletin board devoted to Bristol-area politics and in person Monday during a conversation with Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, who is gay.

    February 24, 2005
    McDonald, one of several gay legislators in Connecticut,

    April 21, 2005
    `All families can be uplifted when civil rights are extended in our state,” said McDonald, a Democrat from Stamford who is gay.

  11. on 04 May 2007 at 9:10 amchele

    Can we search the Courant archives and see how many times they’ve referred to Sullivan’s Catholicism?

  12. on 04 May 2007 at 2:14 pmTricia

    To the liberal trolls posting here—you can’t truly refute Peter’s argument that The Courant has a liberal bias, so you nitpick on one statement from his post (“The paper never describes the Judiciary Committee co-chairs–Sen. Andrew McDonald and Rep. Michael Lawlor–as “openly gay” in articles on their push for same-sex “marriage.”).

    Still, despite help from your friends, all the citations supposedly contradicting Peter are from 2 to 4 years old.

    Could it just be that Peter is right about the Courant, as far as their current (couldn’t resist, sorry) policy? I’m guessing that their agenda is to normalize homosexuality to such an extent that it becomes irrelevant to even mention it—and the board of The Courant is PRETENDING that all of Connecticut citizens (of any intelligence) already agree with them.

  13. on 04 May 2007 at 2:36 pmTricia

    Chele and others here cannot seem to see their own hypocrisy (and that of The Courant) in seeking to have the views of anyone with strong religious beliefs discounted, while they discount any possible ‘conflict of interest’ in the fact of gay men like Sen. McDonald and Rep. Lawlor driving the legislative efforts for SSM and the like.

    Chele and co. need to read Dave’s post of yesterday “The Absurdity of Secular Fundamentalism.” But they probably have read it, and are trying to ignore it (and hope that others won’t see it), because there ARE NO effective arguments against Dave’s statements, such as:

    “In their zeal and fervor to eradicate faith from the public square, secular fundamentalists conveniently overlook the obvious. They are themselves seeking to establish a theocracy of “anti-religion” that excludes the vast majority of Americans.”

  14. on 09 May 2007 at 12:36 pmCaroline

    By definition, “anti-religion” really can’t be theocratic. Maybe if you believe that “false idols” are gods, but that too is an artifact of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. Again, no one wants to deprive anyone of their “strong religious beliefe,” Tricia – they just don’t want those beliefs to control decisions by U.S. state and federal governmental bodies that are, of necessity, secular and pluralistic as to the creeds and beliefs they protect?

    Maybe this belongs in the other discussion thread, but what if I argued that there is a traditional notion of “religion” that has always existed, just as there is a traditional notion of “marriage,” that should remain unchanged because it has always been that way….you see where I’m going? I don’t think Dave can have it both ways (no pun intended).

  15. on 09 May 2007 at 12:39 pmCaroline

    And btw, CtDemGirl and Chris, thanks for the quotes. I’ve never been sure if I could refer to these guys (saints, really) as being openly gay because I wasn’t sure it was public knowledge.

  16. on 09 May 2007 at 1:18 pmDave


    It’s funny to hear you complain of misusing a word “by definition”. For if we went by definitions, then marriage would mean:

    The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.

    Clearly you would have to admit that words can and do acquire new meanings, if your SSM arguments are to have validity. After all, as you’ve said, you can’t have it both ways!

    For the sake of clarity, I have at times used the word “atheocracy” in describing the potential extreme of secularism:

    It’s true we don’t want to live in a theocracy, because freedom of religion is a fundamental right in our country. But neither should we live in an “atheocracy” in which citizens are deprived of their right to a voice in government, as a consequence of their faith. We live in a democracy, which entitles everyone to participate regardless of their choice of religious faith (or lack thereof).

    Regardless, let’s move this along to the other thread “The Absurdity of Secular Fundamentalism”. That way the folks who want to argue about just how openly gay McDonald and Lawlor are, and the shame of being labeled a “devout Catholic” can be left in peace.

  17. on 10 May 2007 at 10:22 amGems

    Devout Catholic or not, Sullivan is no longer sitting on the case, so his religious views aren’t relevant to this discussion anymore…

  18. on 10 May 2007 at 11:45 amPeter

    Gems, did you not read the original post or are you aware of some further development in this story since the article excerpted in the post first appeared? The article states that Sullivan will be sitting on the case.

  19. on 10 May 2007 at 12:48 pmGems

    Further development. Talk to one of the lawyers in the case about who’s on the panel now.

  20. on 10 May 2007 at 12:51 pmGems

    OR check the Courant, which now has the story:,0,6788370.story?coll=hc-headlines-home

  21. on 10 May 2007 at 12:59 pmPeter

    Yep, Harper instead of Sullivan. Got word just as you were posting the Courant link. (I see they worked the “devout Catholic” thing in again.)

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