Ruling sparks debate on retroactive gay rights - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Ruling sparks debate on retroactive gay rights

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By DAVE COLLINS
Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gay rights advocates are calling a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling a step forward for same-sex couples seeking rights and benefits for which they weren't legally entitled before state laws allowed them to marry.

The ruling Wednesday adds to the debate on whether gay marriage rights should be applied retroactively and whether same-sex couples should be granted rights and benefits like Social Security survivor payments dating back before gay marriage laws.

Connecticut's court ruled that a woman whose wife died amid a medical malpractice case may sue a doctor over the loss of her wife's companionship and income, even though that right to sue was limited to heterosexual couples at the time.

Legal experts expect other states to look to Connecticut's ruling as similar gay marriage issues arise.

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