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Bigoted Bristol, CT lawmakers rival the crackers in Alabama when it comes to marriage

Here’s the best and brightest in legislative representation in CT: Colapietro: “It’s not a cure for the sickness allowing them to marry”; Hamzy: “There are proven benefits to defining marriage as being between a man and a woman”; Michele: “You’re going to bring in a whole combination of other situations”.

Whoa. You are not going to believe some of the knuckle-draggers up in Bristol, CT. These homophobic comments rival anything the rednecks down in ‘Bama have rolled off of their southern-fried tongues. (Bristol Press):

Supporters of legislation that would allow gay marriage in Connecticut won’t find any help from Bristol’s lawmakers.

It’s a sickness I think,” said state Sen. Tom Colapietro, a Terryville Democrat whose district includes Bristol. “It’s not a cure for the sickness allowing them to marry.”

But opening the door to gay marriage — or at least civil unions — may have enough support among the General Assembly to make it possible the proposal will win passage this term. “We really have a good chance this session to pass a civil union bill,” said state Sen. Jonathan Harris, a West Hartford Democrat whose district includes Burlington.

He said there is a consensus among lawmakers to approve civil unions in Connecticut that may not extend to gay marriage. “We’ll have to see how that pans out,” Harris said. “What’s important is that people have the same bundle of civil and economic rights” whether a committed couple is gay or straight, he said.

The first test of the issue will come sometime in the next month or so in the Judiciary Committee, where bills that would legalize gay marriage or create civil unions are under consideration.

“I expect a fairly tight vote,” said Brian Brown, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, the chief opponent of the measures. Brown said his group is adamantly opposed to both proposals.

Brian Brown, the local “family values” monitor of FIC.

With civil unions, he said, “In every respect it will be same-sex marriage — except the name.”

I’ve voted against it every time and I will again this year,” said state Rep. Kosta Diamantis, a Democrat whose district spans the southern third of town.

“I think the traditional definition of marriage should be the law of the land,” said state Rep. Bill Hamzy, a Plymouth Republican whose district includes northwestern Bristol. “There are proven benefits to defining marriage as being between a man and a woman,” Hamzy said.

Diamantis says he opposes civil unions as well. Boukus “has compassion, but I can’t change who I am.”

State Rep. Betty Boukus, a Plainville Democrat whose district includes a tiny portion of Forestville, said she firmly believes that marriage should only be possible between a man and a woman. “I have compassion,” she said. “I really do. But I can’t change who I am.”

State Rep. Roger Michele, a Bristol Democrat who represents the northeastern section of town, said that “once we cross the line, the sharp line that defines marriage, there are many different categories that will want to be considered next.” Any other group that has a sexual preference other than a man and a woman would feel they should get the same benefit,” Michele said, including “bisexuals, homosexuals and the other. There are extremes,” Michele said, that would lobby for the right to marry as well once the line is crossed.

“You’re going to bring in a whole combination of other situations” if gay men and women are allowed to marry, he said. [WTF?]

“I just can’t condone” same-sex marriage, Colapietro said. “My heart and my stomach won’t let me. I just think it should be a man and a woman.” Colapietro said he’s always opposed gay marriage “yet I really sympathize with those who are gay.”

He said he has gay friends “and I’m there when they need me.” [Except when it really counts, you dumb bastard.]

Michele, Hamzy, Diamantis and Colapietro said they don’t see a meaningful distinction between civil unions and gay marriage. They said they’re opposed to civil unions as well. “We are protecting an institution and not merely a word,” Brown said.

Two of the Bristol legislators – Michele and Hamzy – serve on the Judiciary panel.

Three of Bristol’s delegates are married: Hamzy, Diamantis and Boukus. For Diamantis, it is his second marriage. Colapietro and Michele are both divorced.

Michele said there is no reason to broaden the definition of marriage to allow same-sex couples to wed. “They already have the same opportunity to get married,” Michele said, “just probably not to the person they want to be with.”

Everybody can’t have everything,” he said.

Diamantis: (860) 585-9500 (no listed email)

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding