Marriage Equality and LGBT Activism in Connecticut Oral History Collection
The Marriage Equality and Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Activism in Connecticut Oral History Project is a pilot project of Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries. The collection consists of 11 oral histories with leading activists in Connecticut who have been a part of the marriage equality movement as well as been engaged in other forms of LGBT activism in the state and beyond. The interviews were conducted by Valerie Love, Curator for Human Rights and Alternative Press Collections, between July 2010 and April 2011. Funding for this project was provided by the UConn Libraries Strategic Planning Team, and the Treibick Family Public Outreach Fund in Human Rights. Thanks to Martha McCormick and Heidi Muir of Mediascribe for their transcription work.
Access and Permissions
This oral history is a project of the Archives & Special Collections, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries. Transcripts resulting from interviews conducted for the project will be deposited as an oral history collection in the Archives & Special Collections, where they will be made available for historical research and public dissemination. The transcripts are provided for educational and research purposes only. The University of Connecticut Libraries hold the copyright except where noted. Permission must be obtained in writing from the University of Connecticut Libraries to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." To view transcripts (PDF files) you must have Adobe Reader installed on your computer.
Transcripts in the collection should be cited as follows:
[Name of narrator] Interview, Marriage Equality and LGBT Activism in Connecticut Oral History Collection. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries.
Interview with Anne Stanback, 2010 (Adobe PDF file, 184 KB, 31 pages)
Interview with Carol Buckheit, 2010 (Adobe PDF file, 183 KB, 31 pages)
Interview with Bessy Reyna and Susan Holmes, 2010 (Adobe PDF file, 151 KB, 19 pages)
Interview with Reverend Josh Pawelek, 2010 (Adobe PDF file, 163 KB, 21 pages)
Interview with John and Becky Glezen, 2010 (Adobe PDF file, 180 KB, 29 pages)
Interview with Robin McHaelen (2010)
Interview with David Knapp (2011)
Interview with Fleurette King (2011) (transcript available online soon!)
Interview with Gannon Long (2011) (transcript available online soon!)
Interview with Shawn Lang (2011) (transcript available online soon!)
Interview with Karen Ryker (2011) (Adoble PDF file, 146 KB, 25 pages)
Brief Overview of LGBT Rights in Connecticut
In 1991, Connecticut became the third state to pass a comprehensive anti-discrimination law concerning sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit. This law barred employers from refusing to hire a person, discharging them, or discriminating against employees because of their sexual orientation. The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) ruled in November 2000 that transgendered people may be protected under the law’s prohibition of sex discrimination.
In October 2000, Connecticut passed a co-parent adoption law, which created a legal process for second parent adoption, regardless of gender. This law allows an existing parent (biological or adoptive) to agree to the adoption of his/her child by another person, including a same gender partner, who shares parental responsibility for the child.
In April 2005, the Connecticut General Assembly passed, “An Act Concerning Civil Unions” (Public Act 05-10), which made Connecticut the second state (after Vermont) to allow civil unions for same-sex couples. Civil unions are a legal status parallel to marriage at the state level, which allow committed same-sex couples to obtain the state level benefits of marriage.
On October 10, 2008, Connecticut joined Massachusetts and California to become the third state to allow same sex-couples to marry. The Connecticut Supreme Court released a ruling in the case, Elizabeth Kerrigan et al v. Commissioner of Public Health et al, overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, stating:
“We conclude that, in light of the history of pernicious discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians, and because the institution of marriage carries with it a status and significance that the newly created classification of civil unions does not embody, the segregation of heterosexual and homosexual couples into separate institutions constitutes a cognizable harm. We also conclude that (1) our state scheme discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, (2) for the same reasons that classifications predicated on gender are considered quasi-suspect for purposes of the equal protection provisions of the United States constitution, sexual orientation constitutes a quasi-suspect classification for purposes of the equal protection provisions of the state constitution, and, therefore, our statutes discriminating against gay persons are subject to heightened or intermediate judicial scrutiny, and (3) the state has failed to provide sufficient justification for excluding same sex couples from the institution of marriage.”
Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center houses a number of collections on lesbian gay bisexual and transgender history. More information on LGBT collections available in the UConn Libraries can be found in the library's Research Guide for LGBT Studies, or by contacting the curator.
The records of the organization, Love Makes a Family, are housed in the Manuscripts and Archives Department, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. The finding aid for the collection is available through the Yale University Libraries website.
This page is maintained by B. Pittman.