Connecticut Civil Unions Become Marriage

Tomorrow, October 1st, 2010, our five-year-old Connecticut civil union legally becomes — a marriage!
Today is “the last day for the issuance of civil union licenses in Connecticut,” according to the GLAD handbook on CT marriage:

If you have a civil union entered into in Connecticut and you do not marry your civil union spouse prior to October 1, 2010, you are deemed to be married by the state of Connecticut as of October 1, 2010 and your civil union status will cease as of that date.

Rocco and I were one (apparently the 16th) of the several dozen couples who came October 1st, 2005, to Hartford to be wed by one of several available Justices of the Peace.
In this photo from Metroline magazine, we are being “civilly united” in front of the Caldor sculpture next to City Hall. Thanks once again to our JP, Kelvin Roldan.

Rocco & Ron, Civil Union, October 1st, 2005
Rocco & Ron, Civil Union, October 1st, 2005
And in the next almost completely unretouched photo, notice how much less glare there is and how much more color-saturated we are!
Rocco & Ron Marriage, October 1st, 2010

Although it is the last day for the issuance of civil union licenses, there’s not been any practical reason why anyone would want a CU.
In fact, last year as a licensed Justice of the Peace, I dissuaded a different-sex couple here in New London from getting a civil union, and instead performed their marriage ceremony, since their CU, like ours, would automatically “roll over” tomorrow into civil marriage, regardless of genders of the parties involved.

I still do wonder why anyone would object to Rocco and I being married. It has been such a benefit to us, to our community, and to our society. I am still waiting for one individual to come forth and state or demonstrate rationally how my loving marriage to my husband threatens anyone else’s loving marriage.

I’d like to share a section from the vows that Rocco and I repeated during our marriage ceremony:

i am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.

with this ring, i give you my promise that from this day forward

you shall never walk alone.

my heart will be your shelter, my arms will be your home.

we shall walk together toward god,

through life as partners and best friends.

i promise that i shall always do my best

to love and accept you exactly the way you are.

with this ring, i give you your freedom and my trust in you.

i give you my heart until the end of our days;

i have no greater love to give.

These words are truer again today than they were even then.

Happy civil union marriage anniversary, Rocco!

Author: Ron Suresha

Ron Jackson Suresha is an editor, anthologist, and writer. He is considered an authority on emergent queer masculinities, in particular the subcultures of gay and bi male Bears and of male bisexuality. For Ron's service to the bear community, he was named "Bear of the Year" 2008. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Suresha attended the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, 1976-8), where he studied creative writing, and Vista College (Berkeley, Cal., 1989-92), where he studied American Sign Language. For more than two decades, he has worked as a freelance proofreader for trade book publishers such as Shambhala Publications. He was married in October 2004 to Rocco Russo. He is also a licensed Justice of the Peace in Connecticut, an ordained minister, ULC, and a member of the New London Green Party. Nonfiction works include Bears on Bears: Interviews & Discussions; Bi Men: Coming Out (coeditor, with Pete Chvany); Bisexual Perspectives on the Life and Work of Alfred C. Kinsey (editor). His latest book is The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin: Stories, jests, and donkey tales of the beloved Persian folk hero, published by Lethe Press.