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Looking Back On A Decade Of Marriage Equality In Connecticut

This month marks 10 years since Connecticut first granted marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. This hour we talk about the work that led up to a historic ruling from the state Supreme Court and we learn how LGBTQ rights have advanced in recent years. Were you one of the couples that finally got to tie the knot in 2008?

But first, Veteran’s Day is a time to recognize those who’ve served the country. But not all families know about their relatives’ military service ---until years after they have passed. Reporter David DesRoches brings us the story of Connecticut man David McGhee who found out about his grandfather’s service in World War II, thanks to details inside an old suitcase. Sergeant Willy Williams served his country, but because he was African American, his story and many others were largely unknown. 

Look at the contents of the suitcase and learn more about Sgt. William's story in the video below. 

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


  • David DesRoches - Reporter for Connecticut Public Radio (@SavingEJ)
  • Anne Stanback - Founding executive director of Love Makes a Family, Connecticut’s lead organization in the campaign for marriage equality; she as been working on LGBTQ issues for over 30 years
  • Janet Peck and Carol Conklin - Plaintiffs in Connecticut’s marriage equality case; the state Supreme Court ruled in their favor in 2008, and they married shortly afterwards. They live in Colchester, Connecticut


NPR: Same Sex CT Couples Tie Knot (Lucy Nalpathanchil, November 2008) – “In 2004, the couple, along with seven others, sued Connecticut for the right to marry. Last month, the state Supreme Court ruled Connecticut could not ban gay marriage, saying it was unconstitutional.”

Hartford Courant: A Love Story About Two Fighters (December 2017) - Back in the '00s, after three decades together, Janet Peck and Carol Conklin took a deep breath and entered the public eye. They signed on as plaintiffs in Connecticut's historic marriage equality case…At the multiple press conferences and meet-and-greets, Peck was the talkative one. Conklin was more comfortable staying quiet. But they agreed that it was important to put themselves out there, both for their love, which started decades earlier, and for the love of so many others.

Library of Congress: African American Liberators In The Netherlands (February 2018) – “Until recently, little was known in both the Netherlands as well as in the United States about the contributions of African American troops to the liberation of the country, which had been occupied for five long years by Nazi Germany. In the minds of many Dutch people, U.S. liberators were white, even though 900,000 African Americans served in the U.S. Army alone, primarily in quartermaster, engineer, and ordnance units. ”

Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

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