Big Day in NJ
Today is a pretty big day in New Jersey. Today, the NJ Supreme Court will issue its ruling on whether it will allow gay marriage to be legal in NJ.
As readers know, I support gay marriage and don't feel as though the government should have a position on the sex of your spouse. Religion, and religious institutions, are another thing entirely. Considering that for governmental purposes, marriages are contractual agreements anyway, I don't see why the government should hold a moral or philosophical opinion on who you marry.
The ruling is expected at 3pm EST. I guess we'll see what we see!
I had a nice updated post when the ruling first came out, but stupid blogspot lost my post. Anyway, I'm relatively satisfied by the ruling. The NJ Supreme Court basically said that under the equal protection clause of the NJ Constitution, you can not deny same sex couples any rights that are afforded to heterosexual married couples. Whether or not to call it 'marriage' or 'civil unions' is up to the legislature. They then gave the legislature 180 days to either re-write the existing marriage laws or come up with another vehicle for conferring those rights upon same-sex couples.
I see this as a victory. Not being gay myself, I see the whole "marriage v. civil union" debate as a debate of semantics. When the rights are the same, who cares what you call it? But of course, its not directly affecting me or my relationships, so I can understand how others might feel differently and I have seen passionate responses from those part of the actual case who still feel as though their relationships are less with the 'marriage' label.
I also think that people who are against same-sex 'marriage' are holding onto a tradition that is a tradition in name only. In the eyes of government, your marriage is a civil contract, now no different, in NJ anyway, than a civil union. Why deny the term 'marriage' to same sex couples when all the rights are exactly the same. It seems to me that the resistance to 'marriage' is based only in reluctance to let go of a traditional view of marriage, even while being receptive to the idea that same sex couples should have all the rights afforded to married couples. Its this last vestige of tradition that is so hard for some to let go of.
Either way, there will be no more discrimination in NJ when it comes to heterosexual and gay couples. That IS a victory.