Connecticut court affirms pre-gay marriage rights

The audience cheers at a rally at the State Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Friday, Oct. 10, 2008 held to celebrate a ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court to allow same-sex weddings. (AP Photo/Bob Child)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Lawyers say the Connecticut Supreme Court has issued a first-of-its-kind ruling in the country saying some legal rights of same-sex couples predate the state’s 2008 approval of gay marriage.

The high court Wednesday overturned two lower courts and ruled a widow from Middletown can sue a doctor for damages in a medical malpractice case for the loss of her spouse’s companionship and income.

Margaret Mueller and Charlotte Stacey married in 2008 after 23 years together. Mueller died of appendix cancer in 2009. They sued Mueller’s doctor alleging she misdiagnosed Mueller’s cancer from 2001 to 2004.

Lower courts ruled Stacey couldn’t sue for loss of companionship, saying only married couples had that right and Stacey and Mueller didn’t marry until 2008.

Gay rights advocates say the ruling affirms gay couple’s rights.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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