Gay Wedding Questions

Connecticut Justice of the Peace
Ernest Adams   —   (860) 543-2334

Celebrating Your Day Your Way!

 

Wedding Questions   >>   Gay Wedding Questions

As your Connecticut wedding celebrant I am happy to serve all loving couples who choose to marry. In Connecticut both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples can be joined in marriage.

Marriage, for me at least, is marriage. When I talk about marrying people, I say loving couple and marriage, I don't say straight couple or gay couple or lesbian couple, gay marriage or straight marriage. Some people say that I should say "same-gender weddings" instead of "same-sex weddings". Along with most of Connecticut, I am not sure whether to call all same-sex weddings "gay weddings". "Gay Couple" and "Gay Marriage" are not the best terms. "Alternative Marriage" doesn't really sound appropriate either, at least in my opinion. No matter what your opinion, please help me to be inclusive and respectful!

Straight For Equality logo; click to go to the Site

The Straight for Equality Pledge:

As a straight ally committed to supporting and advocating for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people, I will:

Come out.
I will acknowledge and work on any uncertainties I may have in "coming out" as a straight ally, and, as I grow in confidence, I'll increasingly let my family, friends, and colleagues know that I support equality for GLBT people.

Speak up.
Whenever I have an opportunity, I'll say something supportive of GLBT people, whether I'm responding to a homophobic joke or remark, commenting positively about a current event, or making the case for equality in a discussion.

Join in.
I will review the many recommended actions provided through Straight for Equality (WWW.StraightForEquality.Org) that will help me create change in big and small ways and incorporate those with which I am comfortable into my growth as a straight ally to help move equality forward.

Some same-sex couples want a strong statement of their views about equal rights as part of their wedding ceremony. Some other same-sex couples want to be treated exactly like opposite-sex couples, with no difference in their ceremonies except instead of being called "bride and groom" ("wife and husband") they want to be called "bride and bride" ("wife and wife") or "groom and groom" ("husband and husband"). Other couples have wanted to avoid any such words entirely, preferring "spouse" or "partner". Your wishes on the subject will be respected and followed. I am a strong supporter of equal rights for everyone.

This Page attempts to address some of the questions commonly asked by same-sex couples that are not usually asked by opposite-sex couples. Please keep in mind that the Wedding Questions Page applies to same-sex couples who want to get married in Connecticut!

Zendy and Latasha had an elopement-type ceremony in Ledyard, CT.

What about Civil Unions in Connecticut?

Questions about civil unions are still being asked.

Through the end of September, 2010 it was still possible to be joined in a civil union in Connecticut. Existing civil unions that were not dissolved were converted to marriages automatically on October 1, 2010. (This information came directly from Town Clerks at Connecticut Justices of the Peace Conferences.)

Marriage became legal for gay couples in Connecticut on October 1, 2008. Before that, a civil union was the only option in Connecticut open to a gay couple. Now there is complete marriage equality in Connecticut!

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How do you declare us married?

However you choose to have me.

If you would like to be declared "Wife and Wife", "Husband and Husband", or "Husband and Wife", I would be happy to do that. How about "Partners for life"? Would you like "You are now truly and lawfully married.", or "You are now well and truly married." (older, traditional declarations)? One couple chose "You are now and forever united." The word "Spouse" appears on the Connecticut Marriage License form. Some gay couples have me say "Do you, Chris, take Kim to be your lawfully wedded spouse?" Together you and I will write your ceremony your way!

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Do we need wedding rings?

No. The choice is always yours whether to have wedding rings or not.

Connecticut law does not require wedding rings. Some gay couples prefer simple metal bands while others like to have engravings inside. Jewelers can engrave two male symbols or two female symbols inside your wedding bands, for example. Claddagh rings, given as tokens of love, are an excellent choice for wedding rings. Ask me about the traditions!

The most important thing about your rings, if you choose to have them, is the loving bond that they symbolize.

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How do you feel about gay marriage personally?

I am for equal rights for all human beings, and against discrimination in any form. I believe that a homosexual couple should be treated in the same ways as a heterosexual couple.

I am proud to be a member of PFLAG (PFLAG.Org [Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians And Gays]). I have taken the Straight for Equality Pledge (above), and take it seriously. I will do everything in my power to help to make your ceremony a success!

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Are there people who cannot be legally married in Connecticut?

According to Connecticut Statute: "No man may marry his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt, niece, stepmother or stepdaughter, and no woman may marry her father, grandfather, son, grandson, brother, uncle, nephew, stepfather or stepson". For same-sex couples, the same laws that applied to civil unions apply to marriages: "[No woman may marry her] mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, brother's daughter, sister's daughter, father's sister or mother's sister. [No man may marry his] father, grandfather, son,  grandson, brother, brother's son, sister's son, father's brother or mother's brother."

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How much does it cost for a gay couple to get married in Connecticut?

The costs are exactly the same for all couples.

Your marriage license will cost $30, a certified copy (your proof that you are legally married) costs $20, and you are welcome to call me at (860) 543-2334 to discuss my fee.

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Do gay couples eloping in Connecticut need to do anything special?

No. All couples who elope in Connecticut get their marriage licenses the same way. Please see the Wedding Questions Page for information about eloping and the application process for your license.

If you feel that your are being discriminated against, please report it!

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Can lesbian couples get married in city hall in Connecticut?

Absolutely! It has been an honor to marry several female-female couples at City Hall. All couples are treated equally.

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Why do gay couples have to have a marriage license to get married in Connecticut?

All couples who want to get legally married in Connecticut must have marriage licenses issued by the city or town in which they will get married. It is part of the Connecticut right to marry.

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How should we fill out the 2010 Census form?

The Census Bureau asks how you identify yourself (or think of yourself). If you consider yourself married, whether your state recognizes your marriage or not, then check the box "Married".

If you consider yourself to be in a close personal relationship but do not think of yourself as married, then check the box "Unmarried partner."

The key to answering all of the questions on the Census form is "How do I think of myself?"

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Alfonso and Bruce got married at Gillette Castle with their dog as best man.

Where do gay people get married in Connecticut?

Anywhere they want to. There are some suggested locations listed on this Site, and I'd be happy to discuss where you would like to have your wedding ceremony.

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Are some towns more gay-friendly than others?

No. All Connecticut towns are required to treat all people the same way: Equally.

It has been reported that Greenwich requests that all couples return the following day to get their marriage licenses. This practice is not correct according to Connecticut law. Connecticut has no waiting period after you apply. You should keep in mind, however, that each Town Hall sets its own hours, and you may not be served quickly if you show up five minutes before closing time.

In every case where I have been with a couple when they were applying for a marriage license, all couples were treated equally well. Please tell me how you were treated. I can have a quiet word with a Mayor or Town Clerk if you were treated exceptionally well or poorly. If you feel that your are being discriminated against, please report it. If you would like me to talk to someone instead of having to face them yourself I will be happy to do so.

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Can we have our wedding with one of us in a tuxedo and the other in a wedding gown?

Can you have a gay wedding with one man in a gown?

Absolutely! It is your wedding and you are encouraged to let your personality loose and your creativity flow. Part of being a GLBT-friendly JP is supporting you in your choices and cheering you on.

Please keep reading down to the next topic....

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Do we have to wear special clothes to get married?

No, but you may want to! Will you be having your pictures taken? If so, you might want to dress up, either a little or a lot. If it will be only the three of us, I will be happy to take your picture together on your wedding day!

You don't have to have a stereotypical wedding with a rented tuxedo and purchased gown unless you want to. Some gay couples have dressed as two brides and some gay couples as two grooms. Some couples have dressed similarly, with one looking more masculine and the other more feminine. Coordinating colors can be fun, and is one way to be similarly dressed without being identically dressed.

Will you be married on a beach? Do you want to wear shorts, tee shirts, and flip flops? Go ahead! Whether you choose to dress elegantly or prefer to be very casually dressed, that's your choice! Remember, it's all about you!

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Can gay couples elope to Connecticut? Can gay couples elope to other states that allow them to marry?

Yes! You will be legally married if you get married in Connecticut by a legally-authorized officiant. (Please see the FAQs Page for a list of authorized wedding officiants.) While I cannot tell you about your state's laws, I can tell you that Connecticut and several other states will formally recognize your legal Connecticut marriage. Sorry; I am not an attorney authorized to practice law in any state.

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What do gay people say at weddings?

"I love you." "I'm so happy that we're finally married." "Congratulations!" "Best of luck!" "I'm so happy for you two." The same things that non-gay people say at weddings.

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What do you say at end of a wedding for a gay couple?

Usually "May you always have a happy home together." Then I proclaim the couple married using words that they have chosen and say "Please seal the promises you've made to each other today with a kiss."

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Can you tell us how to find a Connecticut gay Justice of the Peace? Can you recommend a gay JP?

I am a gay friendly Justice of the Peace who believes in equal rights for all people. Unfortunately, I do not know any gay JPs personally. Unless I know another Justice of the Peace personally, am sure that they are happy to marry gay people, and that they will provide a good ceremony at a reasonable price, then I cannot recommend them. If you are a gay Justice of the Peace, then I would like to meet you to discuss how we can work together. If you know a gay JP, then I would appreciate knowing how to contact them.

No Justice of the Peace that I have met has come out to me. Just as I never ask people who call me whether they are gay or straight, I have never asked any of my fellow Connecticut JPs about their sexual orientation.

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