The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

New Jersey Gay Marriage Watch

Ah god... It was sooooooo close.

The New Jersey Supreme Court handed down its decision regarding gay marriage. They overturned the decisions of the trial court and of the appellate court...

It was a unanimous decision that same-sex couples deserve ALL of the rights given to heterosexual couples -- which is wonderful. It is especially wonderful that it was a UNANIMOUS decision. Among the statements in the decision:

"the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our State Constitution."

"Times and attitudes have changed, and there has been a developing understanding that discrimination against gays and lesbians is no longer acceptable in this State..."

"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 samesex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes."

However, it was a 4 to 3 decision that same-sex couples did not deserve the right to be "married," which is in the end, very disappointing.

Overall, it may be a net-good decision, but it is still a sad day for the state of New Jersey. The Supreme Court opted for giving the legislature the chance to put a "separate but equal" into the law books.

I was thinking about it last night. Would interracial couples be satisfied with a "separate-but-equal" domestic partnership??? NO. No one would. Because it's separate AND inferior ... it necessarily demeans the relationship of the people in the union.

Civil marriage is just that -- civil -- and therefore the demesne of the state. If they offer civil marriage to heterosexual couples, then they'd goddamn better offer it to same-sex couples. Otherwise, it is simply NOT EQUAL. Conversely, if they only want to offer domestic partnerships to everyone, then fine. Let's see how straight people like them apples.

Furthermore, to some degree, the decision is still a farce, because only "marriage" would force other states to recognize it as such. (DOMA is clearly unconstitutional, but the ACLU, Lamda Legal, Equality California, and others are biding its time on that one -- too much hate right now and too much risk of a Constitutional Amendment eradicating all the gains in the past decades).

We'll have to wait and see. It would be nice to see NJ leaders actually lead, do something right, and grant same-sex couples the right to marriage.

-John Locke


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