NJ Gay Marriage Ruling

I’m about to get political 🙂

New Jersey’s highest court opened the door Wednesday to making the state the second in the nation to allow gay marriage, ruling that lawmakers must offer same-sex couples either marriage or something like it, such as civil unions.

In a ruling that fell short of what either side wanted or most feared, the state Supreme Court declared 4-3 that gay couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual ones. The justices gave lawmakers 180 days to rewrite the laws.

The ruling is similar to the 1999 high-court ruling in Vermont that led the state to create civil unions, which confer all of the rights and benefits available to married couples under state law.

“Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state Constitution,” Justice Barry T. Albin wrote for the four-member majority.

The court said the Legislature “must either amend the marriage statutes to include same-sex couples or create a parallel statutory structure” that gives gays all the privileges and obligations married couples have.

The three dissenters argued that the majority did not go far enough. They demanded full marriage for gays.

Source: AP

I’m sure everyone has heard about today’s ruling. At this point the NJ legislature has 180 days to figure out what to do. They basically have three options as far as I can tell:

1) Give gays and lesbians full marriage rights and call it marriage.

2) Give gays and lesbians full marriage rights and call it marriage, but pass a law limiting marriage in NJ to NJ residents.

3) Give gays and lesbians full marriage rights, but call it civil unions.

Call me pessimistic but I find it hard that they will grant #1 because NJ has no law making it illegal for out of staters to be married here. Thus it could create a problem for other states, even if they have a DOMA like law on the books. They sure as hell won’t pass #2 as NJ can’t give up the draw of Atlantic City and “Las Vegas” style weddings. Therefore we’ll probably end up with #3, civil unions.

You know what? If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck just call it a duck! I find it ridiculous to make a separate but equal marriage for gays and call it civil unions. Honestly what is the point? To try and appease the religious right? Pffft! If civil unions carry the same rights and privileges as marriage than every excuse for banning gays from marrying still hold true for giving them civil unions. Far too many times I’ve heard someone say “I’m against gay marriage because it opens the door to things like polygamy or marrying children. However I do support civil unions.” What a circular argument, as if the person didn’t even consider polygamists or pedophiles would argue for civil unions. The only reason I can fathom for saying one supports civil unions but not gay marriage is religion. I thought we had freedom of religion in this country? Several religions support gay marriage you know!

I think Wanda Sykes said it best in her last HBO special “If you don’t believe in same-sex marriage then don’t marry someone of the same sex!”



7 Responses to “NJ Gay Marriage Ruling”

S.A.M. Says:

I think it’s ridiculous to ban anyone from marrying someone they love. If they can’t tell the difference between polygamy and pedophiles from two adults in love then we need to vote in more level headed politicians. Get out and vote people that’s the only way to start the ball rolling in the right direction. And no I’m not gay I just believe in equal rights for everyone.


Kay Says:

Are you and John going to take advantage of this law once it is passed?


lovechild Says:

Like I’ve comented before, I am not even getting married untill it is an equal right. But in resposne to your comment on Civil Unions… I look at the marriage for straights-civil unions for gays as a “here is my drinking fountain, and there is yours… and while you are at it, your entrance to your section of the restaurant is around back…” issue. IT is segregation, and it is not equal and it is not right. I am allergic to wheat and I shouldn’t be expected to go to Pizza Hut and be so grateful because there is a Salad Bar while everyone else gets to enjoy Pizza. Weak comparison, but I think you know what I mean.


Dustin Says:

It honestly depends what they decide. I have no desire to be part of a seperate but equal a civil union to be honest. To be able to say I’m married and have it mean something means more to me than the rights that go along with it.


karen Says:

i was so happy to hear that the supreme court approved it. honestly, i was suprised, given the state of politics here in jersey. who am i to stand in the way of anyone in love who wants to get married?? more power to you! my employee already allows full medical benefits for “domestic partners”. they only recently started doing that. i hope they go with option one, but as you said, it will be probably be number three, to appease all those stuck up, homo-phobic ass wipes.



The Persian Says:

Wanda Sykes said a mouthful. I am kind of thinking it will be #3 as well. Alas it is something in any case.


Aravis Says:

I love Wanda, and that comment sums it up nicely.