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July 29, 2014

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Connecticut court affirms pre-gay marriage rights

Updated Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | 3:11 p.m.

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 on Wednesday overturned two lower courts and ruled that 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. The couple sued Mueller's doctor alleging she misdiagnosed her cancer from 2001 to 2004.

Lower courts ruled that Stacey couldn't sue for loss of companionship, saying only married couples had that right.

Gay rights advocates say the high court ruling affirms same-sex couples' rights.