HARTFORD - (AP) - A divided Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in Connecticut.

The court ruled 4-3 Friday that gay and lesbian couples cannotbe denied the freedom to marry under the state constitution, andConnecticut's civil unions law does not provide those couples withthe same rights as heterosexual couples.

Justices overturned a lower court ruling and ordered that courtto find in favor of the plaintiffs.

Eight same-sex couples sued in 2004, saying their constitutionalrights to equal protection and due process were violated when theywere denied marriage licenses.

Connecticut will join Massachusetts and California as the onlystate to allow same-sex couples to marry.