Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Oh, New Jersey!

I have been unusually quiet for a while, and I do apologize for that. Today, though, something happened on which I must comment. New Jersey's Supreme Court handed down its decision in Lewis v. Harris, the NJ marriage case.

The key portion of this ruling is the holding:

HELD: Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed same sex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to same sex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.

This ruling mimics the Vermont decision of 1999 which held that Vermont could not treat same sex and heterosexual couples differently. There was no justifiable reason to gives rights and priviledges to one group and deny them to least not under the state constitution. New Jersey has said the same thing.

The NJ Supreme Court has told NJ that its domestic partnership law is not enough. NJ must treat its gay and straight couples them the same rights, privledges, and responsibilities as straight couples in marriage. However, it didn't need to be called marriage if that was what the legislature wanted, but the effect had to be the same. NJ could either amend its marriage statute to allow same sex marriage or it could create an equal institution that was marriage in everything but name. The legislature has 6 months to comply.

Generally, this is good news. However, I wish that the NJ court had just held off a couple of more weeks until the elections were over. Another two weeks would have killed nobody, and it wouldn't have given the damn Republicans something to latch onto as they drown in their own incompetence.

You can be rest assured that the GOP will now gleefully ressurect the gay boogeyman of 2004 where they gave middle America the image of flaming homosexuals banging down their front doors and forcing them to marry people of the same sex, whether they wanted to or not. Or that gay marriage would end our civilization or that little Johnny would see two men married, and even though he preferred women, would decide to marry a man. And the only way to stop this scourage of raging homos is to vote GOP!

I don't know how the Mark Foley scandal will affect this message, but you can be rest assured that Karl Rove will use this to try to keep the Congress. It will certainly affect the NJ Senate race, but how is uncertain. It seems Menendez is crooked, and Kean has his head so far up Bush's ass that he take a dump without the White House knowing first.

It's too important that GOP control of our country is broken this election. We can't wait another two years and hope things will get better. If anything, a GOP win this year will mean they will get MORE arrogant and wreckless, not less. I fear, though, that this decision will help the GOP staunch the bleeding and potentially keep Congress.

Why couldn't the NJ Supremes have just waited another two weeks to rule that gay people should enjoy ALL the same rights as straight people???

No comments: