Connecticut became the second state to offer civil unions to same-sex couples -- and the first to do so without being forced by the courts.
About an hour after the state Senate in Hartford sent it to her, Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed into law a bill that will afford same-sex couples in Connecticut many of the rights and privileges of married couples.
Vermont is the only other state to allow civil unions. Massachusetts allows gay couples to marry. But those changes came about after court battles.