NORWALK - The Connecticut State Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have the right to marry. The court voted 4-3 that civil unions are not enough to protect gay and lesbian couples? rights.

The change was brought about by a lawsuit filed four years ago by eight same-sex couples, which challenged the state?s exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage.

According to Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, couples can apply for marriage licenses beginning Oct. 23. These couples will not be granted federal perks, like jointly filing income taxes, or the benefits of social security for married heterosexual couples. Those benefits are not included because of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

There is still discussion over whether or not out of state couples can wed in Connecticut. Lawmakers are also working to determine how to help thousands of couples who registered for civil unions before marriage was an option.