In February, the court answered, "segregating same-sex unions from opposite-sex unions cannot possibly be held rationally to advance or preserve" the governmental aim of encouraging "stable adult relationships for the good of the individual and of the community, especially its children." Under this decision, the state of Massachusetts began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in May 2004. In 2005, Connecticut became the second state to enact a state law providing civil unions to same-sex couples.In October 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered the legislature to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples or to establish a separate legal structure, such as civil unions, to give same-sex couples the same rights as opposite-sex marriage couples.The Vermont legislation was a result of the state Supreme Court ruling in Baker v.Vermont that said same-sex couples are entitled, under the state constitution's "Common Benefits Clause," to the same benefits and protections as married opposite-sex couples.Same-sex marriages were delayed, pending the ballot outcome.
In April 2000, Vermont approved landmark legislation to recognize civil unions between same-sex couples, granting them virtually all the benefits, protections and responsibilities that married couples have under Vermont law.Proposition 8 was challenged in early 2009, but the California Supreme Court upheld the law in May 2009. The decision was appealed and enforcement (that would allow same-sex marriages to be performed) was delayed until the case could be heard by the federal appeals court. The 2-1 decision reinstated the right to marriage for same-sex couples in California. In October 2008, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that a ban against same-sex marriage was in violation of the equal protection clause in the state constitution.In August 2010, a federal district judge ruled that the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages violated the equal protection provisions of the U. Connecticut became the second state to allow same-sex marriage.Iowa began performing same-sex marriages in June 2009.In April 2009, the Vermont legislature passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage.