''The language in the bill is the same as same-sex marriage," said Deacon David Reynolds, legislative liaison for the Connecticut Catholic Conference. ''The benefits given to same sex couples are exactly the same as the benefits from marriage. It looks like the Legislature was afraid to use the term marriage in our state right now, so they opted for civil unions instead. We're going to talk to elected officials and the governor's office and just educate people about what this really means. It's not going to stop at civil unions."
The civil unions bill was approved by the Judiciary Committee by a 25-13 vote, a near 2-to-1 ratio that surprised even some of its supporters. Two years ago, when a similar bill came before the committee, it was defeated by an equally wide margin. That turnaround has led even those who oppose the bill to concede its chances of passage are formidable.