On Saturday, civil unions between gay couples were officially recognized by the state of Connecticut. Today, some couples will be, er, united? unionized? by the power of the state.
The most remarkable thing about the new law's implementation is that no one seems to care. If this were any other state, there would be rallies, national news coverage and probably Fred Phelps, James Dobson and Rosie O'Donnell. With the exception of a tiny rally in Hartford by the "CT Family Institute" (an offshoot of Dobson's Focus on the Family) and brief mentions on cable news, we have had none of those things.
Stories will start trickling out about newly united couples, and perhaps we'll see some of those on the news. In reality, though, the ban on cell phones while driving has raised much more of a ruckus, and has inspired greater passions in us than civil unions.
The calmness of this period could mean two things. Firstly, it could mean that the compromise struck by the legislature (civil unions instead of marriage and a definition of marriage as heterosexual only) was the correct one for our time and place. Conservatives can be satisfied that there is not yet full marriage rights for homosexuals and that marriage has been defined in our laws as being between one man and one woman. Liberals can be satisfied that Connecticut is one of only a small handful of states that recognize unions of any kind between gay couples, and the first to do so without a court order.
Of course, everybody could just be waiting for the other shoe to drop. There is a court case winding its way through the system now that may end up with the state Supreme Court ordering the legislature to implement full gay marriage, as in Massachusetts. This could happen as early as next year.
For now, however, the decorum of our citizens during these potentially volatile times speaks well of us, and may yet provide an example for the rest of the country.