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Conneticut court approves same-sex marriage by 4-3 vote

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Friday, ruling that lesser measures, such as civil unions, go against efforts for full equality, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"We therefore agree with the plaintiffs that 'maintaining a second-class citizen status for same-sex couples by excluding them from the institution of civil marriage' " violates constitutional guarantees of equality, the state court said.

The court voted 4 to 3 to approve gay marriage, which ends the legal efforts of eight same-sex marriage couples who sued the state four years ago after being denied marriage licenses.

Connecticut become just the third state to allow same-sex marriages, with California and Massachusetts.

However, California citizens will have the opportunity to rescind their states' same-sex policy in a ballot measure vote set for next month, according to USAToday. The gay marriage ban, if it fails in California, would be the first instance in U.S. history that a state approved same-sex marriages by popular vote.

One of the couples involved in the Connecticut lawsuits spoke about their feelings on the ruling.

"I can't believe it. We're thrilled; we're absolutely overjoyed. We're finally going to be able, after 33 years, to get married," said plaintiff Janet Peck of Colchester. "We've always dreamed of being married," she said. "Even though we were lesbians and didn't know if that would ever come true, we always dreamed of it," according to USAToday.