Chris Christie went ahead and vetoed the marriage-equality bill that cleared the Legislature, but he tried to cover his prodigious posterior with a concession prize for Garden State gays: He would appoint an ombudsman to make sure civil unions were treated as equal to marriages, as is currently required by state law.
“Same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples – as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits,” Christie, a Republican, said in a statement. “Discrimination should not be tolerated and any complaint alleging a violation of a citizen’s right should be investigated and, if appropriate, remedied.”
Apparently Christie thinks appointing a point person on civil unions will make him look better, but its a foolish gambit: It won’t quell the anger felt by the LGBT community and its allies, and it will make him look soft on family values by the Republican base he’s obviously trying to court.
“It’s not equal, it’s not the same,” said Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester), told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He knows he’s wrong, he had to walk a tightrope. Why would you need an ombudsman when you had a bill that respected everyone’s rights?” Sweeney said Democrats are ignoring Christie’s proposal and going forward with plans to override his veto.
Garden State Equality director Steven Goldstein called Christie’s offer “a joke.”
“A number of civil union couples work in New York, which doesn’t recognize civil unions, they recognize marriage,” he said in an interview. “Are they going to ask a New Jersey ombudsman to enforce the law in New York? That’s the biggest joke I ever heard…. The governor’s trying to have his cake and eat it too.”
Is that a slightly veiled fat joke? Seems like everyone’s decided the governor’s weight is fair game these days.
Photo: David Shankbone, Hoboken Condos
christopher di spirito
The NJ Assembly can override Gov. Fatso’s veto with 2/3rds vote. I hope the votes are there to do just that. Gov. Fatso is utterly disgusting.
@christopher di spirito: Looking at the vote, it barely passed the first time around. It is very unlikely they will be able to get a 2/3 vote to overturn the veto, especially since they have never managed to overturn a Christie veto while he has been in office.
It looks like, unfortunately, gay marriage is stalled in NJ until Christie is out of office (at least).
It would be great if we all could unite and help our N.J. neighbors. A call for all gay and lesbian people to stop spending money in N.J. Hit them in the pocket. Then you will see Mr. Dunkin Donut man turn around. We as gay and lesbians spend alot of money. Please tell you friends. Lets Boycott N.J. Don’t spend a dime. If the word gets out. You will see a change.
Robert in NYC
@Daez: I tend to agree. Getting a lot more republicans on board is not going to be easy and I doubt, doable. I think the issue is stalled indefinitely unless a democrat boots him out and the bill can be reintroduced if that’s at all possible for another vote. Let’s hope he loses even more favor with the electorate. He’s already alienated the younger generation. 71% of college students polled support marriage equality, a number that will continue to grow. Women voters won’t support him because he supports Romney who supports taking away a woman’s right to choose who far outnumber men in the voting booth. The independent voters will be split, many of whom support marriage equality and women’s rights. The future doesn’t bode well for Christie after yesterday’s decision which was a vote for bigotry.
@Thom: It would be a better idea to call for a boycott of the DISTRICTS whose representatives voted against marriage equality. We shouldn’t punish the communities whose representatives have supported marriage equality (like my own, just to be selfish, lol).
christopher di spirito
@Daez: I think you’re correct. Christie is a pig and his contempt for equality is now a matter of record. Let’s hope the voters of New Jersey toss his lard ass out of office next time around. He’s despicable.
When people marry, they tend to do so for reasons of love and commitment. But marriage is also a legal status, which comes with rights and responsibilities. Marriage establishes a legal kinship between you and your spouse. It is a relationship that is recognized across cultures, countries and religions. Research continually reveals that married people are generally physically healthier, happier, live longer, enjoy better mental health, are more fulfilled, less likely to be promiscuous and less likely to suffer physical abuse.
Marriage, under any interpretation of American constitutional law, is among the most basic civil rights. “Separate by equal” was a failed and pernicious policy with regard to race; it will be a failed and pernicious policy in regard to sexual orientation.
Supporting civil unions far from undermining the case for complete equality, only sharpens it. For there is no argument for civil unions that do not equally apply to marriage. To endorse one but not the other, to concede the substance of the matter while withholding the name and form of relationship, is to engage in the act of pure stigmatization. It risks not only perpetuating public discrimination against a group of citizens but adding the balkanization that already plagues American public life. Supporting civil unions while opposing marriage is an incoherent position, based more on sentiment than on reason, more on prejudice than principal.Even though each state has its own laws around marriage, if someone is married in one state and moves to another, their marriage is legally recognized. This is not the case with civil unions If someone has a civil union, it is recognized by some states and not others. Some states have even ruled that they do not have to recognize civil unions performed in other states, because their state does not allow for civil unions. A United States citizen who is married can sponsor his or her non-American spouse for immigration into this country. Those with civil unions have no such privilege. Civil unions are not recognized by the federal government, so couples would not be able to file joint-tax returns or be eligible for tax breaks or protections the government affords to married couples. In 1997, the General Accounting Office released a list of 1,049 benefits and protections available to only married couples. These benefits include such things as survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for ailing partner, not having to testify against your spouse in civil court cases, tax breaks, veterans benefits and insurance breaks. They also include things like family discounts, obtaining family insurance through your employer, visiting a spouse in the hospital and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to. Restricting a select group of American citizens to “civil union”, and not full “marriage” establishes a “less than deserving” second-class distinction which provides fodder for continuing discrimination in all aspects of fair and equal treatment and basic civil rights.
I swear I’ve seen polls that say over 50% of people in NJ support same sex marriage.
I could understand vetoing something that was passed that didn’t have majority support from the actual people, but this is just him enforcing his personal beliefs over both the majority of the legislature and the majority people of NJ themselves.
If civil unions are equal, then great! Gays will take marriage and straight couples can be civil unioned. Same thing, right?
Separate but equal ISN’T
If — as the governor suggests — civil unions and marriage are a distinction without a difference, then what the fuck is the purpose of creating the distinction?
The purpose of the distinction is simply just to discriminate against a particular minority for no other reason beyond “Well, they’re different and I just don’t think they deserve the same rights I have.”
Which, as sensible courts have pointed out again and again, is unconstitutional.
How many goddam times does America need to learn the same fucking lesson?
“Seems like everyone’s decided the governor’s weight is fair game these days.”
I’m fine with ad hominem attacks on Christie. If he doesn’t treat me with basic human respect, I don’t see why I should treat him with respect.
I only play fair when the other guy plays fair too.
Separate is NOT Equal!
What a fucking douche. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on so he can keep sitting on his big fat ass. Yes, this post is as immature as Christie is stupid and I don’t give a shit.
I wonder how Governor Christie would feel if morbid obesity was put up for a public vote like he wants to do with my sexuality? The big fat fuck needs to stay out of my bedroom and I’ll stay out of his kitchen. I have ZERO respect for him.
What’s the difference between Christie and Obama? I don’t get it. So much outrage over Christie and Obama is virtually in the same position. When Obama comes out for full equality then maybe Christie will look worse. But, from what I can see, Obama and Christie are both trying to take a “middle of the road” position that is 100% political (and still unconstitutional).
Don’t Stop Believing
LGBT people have already had Civil Unions in NJ for years.
Since when did marriage become the #1 goal for LGBT people? I think it’s a very important one but ENDA should come first since this will help a lot more LGBT People since not all of us want to get married, in certain states and in some companies you can get fired or suffer harassment for being LGBT, and many states including NJ already have civil unions.
@CJ: You make a good point. I think we all know that President Obama supports gay marriage, but in an election year, when so much is riding on him getting re-elected, it’s not politically possible for him to have completely “evolved”. I think he absolutely will support it in his second term, but right now it’s all about the end-game.
I also think the big difference between the president and Christie is that Obama ended DADT, directed the administration to stop defending the homophobic DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act)and one of the first things he did after getting elected was made it possible for gays to see their partners who are hospitalized. I think it’s safe to say that Christie opposes ALL of those things. Plus, Christie wants a referendum on gay marriage, while I’m pretty sure that the President understands that our civil rights are not to be put up for a popular vote and if both houses of Congress came to a consensus and passed a gay marriage bill (like they just did in New Jersey), he wouldn’t veto it like Christie did.
But, you’re totally right, it’s all about politics. Either way, I’d support Obama over that obese bigot any day.
Shle-Actually Obama and his administration DEFENDED DOMA remember the “Gawd’s in the mix!!!” speech that was a total slap in the face for all GLBT people and GLBT youth? Obama has defended DOMA more than ANY OTHER president.
As for DADT Obama and his administration actually edited out the non-discrimination clause, which would have made it impossible for gay men, bisexuals of both genders, and lesbians to serve in the military. Obama also could have easily stopped the witch hunts and having GLB military service memebrs still get kicked out but he didn’t do jack shit about that. Let’s also not forget how the abolishment of DADT which was done by the Pentagon and top military officials NOT OBAMA, does not allow Trans people to openly serve in the military.
Obama is not any sort of fierce advocate for GLBT rights and equality even if you and other Obamabots and he want to pretend that he is when in reality he’s a bigot and hypocrite.
@Pete, you are right – ENDA is truly more important at this point and should be the priority. Somehow, though, marriage has become the symbol of equality. But I’d rather have protections in jobs and housing first. There are ways of being essentially “married” even without the name. All it takes is a good lawyer.
@T.C.: So, the president’s administration DOES defend DOMA? And the president and his administration have NOTHING at all to do with the end of DADT? And the president didn’t sign an executive order making it legal for me to visit my partner in the hospital? I guess I’m confused. Sorry.
One: If he wants to appoint someone to look into the mishandling of someone’s rights he should look at his recent veto decision. Second: Marriage has a technical meaning. Its technical meaning is a joint (non-maryjane). You can marry to edges of wood, you can marry a keel to the shell of a boat, you can marry a ceiling to a wall. All this marriage is between one man and one woman is bull. Marriage means joint, the joining of. There is little reference to procreation in the meaning of marriage which would hint at one man and one woman. And by the way, for anyone who foolishly keeps using that old talk about same sex relationship being against nature, well, nature does not favor monogamy. In fact, much of nature is purely gay in that monogamy is rarely the rule at all. Take a pride of lions. They do not pair up one male lion and one female lion. No there is usually one dominant male who bangs all the, ahem, “pussy” in his “pride”. If anything it’s closest relation is Mormonism and other religions which allow the marriage of mulitple wives. So in a sense gay men who sleep around are really the closest to nature as it happens in the wild. Right down to the neck biting and loud grunting noises (or am I the only one who gets this kinda lion:)!
@todd: Please keep your meagre understanding of animal behaviour out of this. I don’t want you to start arguing that women should murder and devour the men they have sex with based on the behaviour of the praying mantis.
@shle896: So, the president’s administration DOES defend DOMA?
The Obama Administration DID defend DOMA (insisting it had a “duty” to do so, which is a lie). Their argument was that government had the power and right to ban same-sex marriages on the same basis it can ban pedophile and incestuous marriages — an insulting argument straight from the Family Research Council. The administration lost the case. Instead of allowing that decision to stand, the administration chose to appeal (which they also didn’t have to) denying the gay plaintiffs their victory and keeping the case open. Because the case was open, when the administration dropped it, the House was allowed to pick it up. At that point, Republicans had the majority. So Obama’s brilliant legal strategy put Boehner in the driver’s seat. Awesome.
But you would applaud Obama because he allowed Republicans to defend an appeal he never should have opened of a case he never should have taken? Okay.
And the president and his administration have NOTHING at all to do with the end of DADT?
Yet another case of a law he shouldn’t have defended, which he likewise did in a deplorable, insulting manner, lost, which he again appealed — this time so he could buy time for his and Holy Joe Lieberman’s “legislative repeal” which ensured that gay servicemembers and their families wouldn’t get equal benefits, and also foreclosed any private cause of action for those injured by the ban or the new discriminatory law.
But you would applaud Obama because he torpedoed another major court victory and the Murphy Amendment (which was much better than the Lieberbama scheme), which guaranteed continued discrimination against gay servicemembers and their families? Super.
And the president didn’t sign an executive order making it legal for me to visit my partner in the hospital?
No, he wrote a memo to HHS asking them to create an agency rule. There’s no executive order.
I guess I’m confused. Sorry.
Hope I cleared it up for you.
Hijo de la gran puta! Either strip away federal privileges bestowed upon heterosexual married couples or give gay couples same and equal rights. Which is it going to be? Stop institutionalizing discrimination!. Dumb fat f*ck! I’m chubby, so I can say that.
Fuck you Christie – separate is NOT equal!!! However, change every marriage in NJ to a civil union and then we’ll talk.
He is just trying to cover his ass so that he can kowtow to the bigots in his party but not look like one himself.
Now I don’t agree with his decision — I think it’s both politically stupid and morally wrong — but the amount of flak he’s getting for it genuinely surprises me. Let’s not forget that most states in this country, including several that lean Democrat, don’t even have Civil Unions, let alone gay marriage. If he genuinely and vocally supports the current Civil Union law in New Jersey, as he seems to be here, then that certainly puts him among the more progressive members of his party. Now he could pull a Romney and abandon this position when/if he hits the national stage, but we should probably give him the benefit of the doubt at least for now.
Christie knows that, had he signed the bill (or let it become law without his signature), he would’ve been targeted by the religious right in the primary. It would have been brave to sign it anyway, but I don’t think we can expect everyone to act with moral courage on our behalf. He’s a coward, sure, and not an ally by any stretch of the imagination, but we have enough enemies without adding him to the list.
He should focus on his health and worry less about us. His bacon flavored heart wrapped in fat won’t last long enough to keep fighting our rights.
@Shannon1981: EXACTLY! GOProud. What a joke.
Gay Republican = Jewish Nazi or Black KKK member or Muslim skinhead
@Kevin: I think the Cristie veto and position really shows how absurd and discriminatory the whole thing is. Gays can have everything the same as straight marriages, but they can’t call it marriage. Huh? That’s not the role of the government to decide. The veto is just a preference without legal merit or due process. An abuse of power. Marriage is a freedom of the citizen. The government’s role is to protect those freedoms, not deny or parse them. Gov. Christie is anti-freedom, a dictator. No gay marriage, because I said so.
One) remember to donate to anyone who runs against Christie for any office or position. Ten million pissed off gays and allies giving $50 against him is a half billion dollars against him, making him a liability for the Republican party.
Two) if he truly believes in the ombudsman and, as he claims, would sign legislation creating the position, the lawmakers should write the legislation requiring Chris Christie, and only Chris Christie, to resign from the governorship and refrain from any other political post for life to take the position of ombudsman for the position of ombudsman to exist – forcing him to either veto it and show himself the ultimate hypocrites and liar, or sign it and make his resignation law.
One) remember to donate to anyone who runs against Christie for any office or position. Ten million pissed off gays and allies giving $50 against him is a half billion dollars against him, making him a liability for the Republican party.
Two) if he truly believes in the ombudsman and, as he claims, would sign legislation creating the position, the lawmakers should write the legislation requiring Chris Christie, and only Chris Christie, to resign from the governorship and refrain from any other political post for life to take the position of ombudsman for the position of ombudsman to exist – forcing him to either veto it and show himself the ultimate hypocrite and liar, or sign it and make his resignation law.
Robert in NYC
If Civil Unions are so equal, why doesn’t Christie support them for straight couples who would rather not marry? I bet if a referendum were put on the ballot to make that a reality, there would be few signatures supporting it and proof that they are NOT equal and non-portable. Christie would NEVER support it of course. Proof again how bigoted he really is and so is the referendum he’s calling for which he won’t get. He’ll have a hard time getting 2/3 of the majority in the House to support discrimination.
This black governor is such a homophobe. Christie is a black homophobe. Oh wait…
@shle896: That’s what I’ve been saying all the time. Now that they have this bigot in office, they’ve missed one of the biggest leaps to equality ever because the man whose signature matters won’t support it.
@Robert in NYC: Because they aren’t equal and he knows it.
Here is an ombudsman for your incredibly fat ass.
Save some food for the rest of the planet you ignorant selfish fat fuck.
Gee golly, my partner of over a decade and I are just so darn excited! An Ombudsman! Who could ask for more? I mean, our bloviating bloated governor can’t be wrong on this, could he?
@mylife: I see what you did there
It’s sad to watch the masses go nut bar emotional over a non issue. Civil unions deliver all the rights that are available until a national marraige law passes. That won’t happen for years, so there’s no reason to obsess over this symbolic issue. Indeed, it’s a waste of time and resources, and a strategic mistake that could harm our allies in the election.
There are more important problems to address: emotional support for the twenty something crowd so they stop spreading hiv; a pr campaign about our great heroes of history, and showing gay soldiers and suburban couples; and enda.
But of course, ghetto think has always been a problem in our community, going back to the early eighties when the self destructive crowd were telling us to ignore hiv. The ghetto crowd have never responded to independent thought.
Finally a republican who makes common sense! A civil union is the only acceptable answer to this interminable issue. There is no such thing as “marriage equality” from the point of view of people who object to Gay marriage on spiritual or philosophical grounds. That will never change. A civil union with the same spousal rights as a traditional marriage is a fair compromise. Way to go Christie! Now loose at least 150 and turn democrat and I might vote for you after Obama’s second term, lol.
Look, I know Obama is a certified lying asshole and that he is more concerned with alienating his evangelical black church crowd than sticking it to the frightened little sissies in the GLBT community who are all crap-in-the-pants scared that the big bad Republican wolves will swoop down and eat them all up. I also realize that a white Democrat by the name of Pres. Lyndon Johnson knew that he, President Johnson, would be the cause of a major shift in the political landscape and hurt the Democratic Party in the South for generations to come if he supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act for Black people — but he did it anyway. Sadly, that is something asshole Obama would not have the moral courage to do for us.
So, on second thought, I agree with you. Why vote for a degenerate closet-bigot like Obama? Stand on principle and vote GREEN. There is nothing in the US Constitution that says we are obligated to be only a two party system. Nothing at all.
Why reward betrayal? The only thing that you will get is more disrespect and further betrayal. And no one respects anyone who does not demand respect — especially someone who does not tell their phony so-called “friends” (with their outstretched hands for money and votes) to fuck off until they can prove their much over-vaulted “friendship” and support with tangible results– not just empty promises.
The Democrats had massive majorities in both the House and the Senate. Where was ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act)? It didn’t even get a vote on the floor. Where was the repeal of DOMA? The same. And DADT was put off until the Obama administration already lost twice in federal court while DEFENDING DADT, as well as DOMA, for two years.
Just imagine how supportive GW Bush’s base would be if he spent two years defending Roe v Wade and abortion rights as well as using his Justice Department to support gun control legislation. It wouldn’t happen. But cowardly homos are the Democratic Party’s reliable lap dogs who take a beating and just keep crawling back for more.
Pathetic! …just pathetic!
Finally a Rethuglican who makes common sense! An interracial civil union is the only acceptable answer to our ongoing interminable race issues. There is no such thing as “marriage equality” from the point of view of people who object to interracial marriage on spiritual or philosophical grounds. That will never change. A civil union with the same spousal rights as a traditional marriage is a fair compromise. Way to go Christie! Now loose at least 250 lbs (or at least have someone jump up and down on your fat gut so your little dick can pop back out again) and, if you join the KKK, I might vote for you after our very own Big-in-Chief Obama loses his bid for a second term, lol.
Unbelievable. He seems to honestly be banking on nobody noticing that his own state spent years researching and reporting on the effectiveness of the civil-union law and determined that, despite it granting all the same rights on paper, IT WAS NO VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO LEGAL MARRIAGE, BECAUSE THERE IS NO VIABLE ALTERNATIVE. An ombudsman will just catalog this problem more effectively, not fix it. What a waste of money.
I’m going to go ahead and assume this is strategic, and that he vetoed it because even he thinks the veto will be overruled. This fits for someone who doesn’t seem to particularly care about the issue one way or the other. He doesn’t really want to go against his state’s own interests just to stick it to the gays, because he’s not actively out to get them. But then, he doesn’t care in the other direction either, so he’s happy to let it take more time if he gets to keep his GOP cred by vetoing it. If that’s accurate, maybe that counts as neutrality in his mind, or a case of two things cancelling each other out. Or he doesn’t even care enough to justify it to himself, I dunno. I guess he never read what Elie Wiesel had to say about the difference between hate and indifference.
@WillBFair: “Stand on principle and vote GREEN. There is nothing in the US Constitution that says we are obligated to be only a two party system. Nothing at all.”
No, but there’s something in real life that says third parties don’t sprout up overnight. Anyone with any reasoning skills knows that voting for a third party instead of their horse in the two-party race just helps their opponent. You’ve got five years, starting now, to actually get a viable third-party candidate out there for the next election; it’s too late for this one.
“The Democrats had massive majorities in both the House and the Senate. Where was…”
Yeah, I keep hearing this all of the sudden (insert issue Democrats should have been able to push through) and every time I do, I wonder if the person took amnesia pills on December 31, 2009 or something. Do you not remember what that year was like? Democrats had a majority, but not a filibuster-proof one, and GOP members of Congress used that one advantage over and over and over and over and over to spike or slow everything down they didn’t like as much as humanly possible. If Democrats had such a massive majority that they could pass whatever they wanted, why did the Affordable Care Act require a year of nonsense and drastic changes to pass? Does nobody remember this? Seriously?
i like this line of thought… perhaps i should bring it up at my next “militant feminist” meeting :p
He’s a Jesus loving homophobic douche. He was raised in a strict Catholic family. He will never ever support this. He needs to be voted out. Wake up NJ.
@the crustybastard: GoProud my friend.
“Gay Republican = Jewish Nazi or Black KKK member or Muslim skinhead”
Really, dude??? But, Gay Racist = Normal? Give me a break. I hate Republicans, but it has nothing to do with their sexuality. I simply don’t get why gay men have this issue with other gay men being Republicans. For many, it could be about fiscal policy. For others, it could be about social values (i.e., abortion, crime, etc.). Get over it.
Fuck you, you fat breeder goy. I hope the feds put a tax on simple carbohydrates.
@shle896: “GoProud my friend.”
FWIW, my contempt for the Democratic party is only exceeded by my contempt for the Republican party.
If you could ever overcome your pitiful reliance on logical fallacies, perhaps one day you might make a reasonable argument.
Best of luck with that!
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