SUPREMELY GAY

Gov. Christie Nominates Bruce Harris, An Openly Gay GOP Mayor, For NJ Supreme Court Justice

Remember Bruce Harris, the openly gay African-American Republican mayor of Chatham, New Jersey who was recently sworn in to office?

Well, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has nominated Harris to serve on the state Supreme Court, reports the Star-Ledger. He would become the first openly gay person to ever serve on the Court.

Steven Goldstein, the CEO of Garden State Equality, is beside himself with joy, and writes in a Facebook post today that Christie gave him a call before making the announcement about Harris.

A few minutes ago, just before announcing his two new Supreme Court nominees, Governor Christie called me on my cell phone to tell me he is nominating Bruce Harris to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Bruce will become the first openly LGBT person in history, and the third African-American person in history, to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court. Most importantly, Bruce is eminently qualified to be a Supreme Court justice.

As I told the Governor right then and there, you could have picked me up off the floor.

But don’t think that this means Christie will sign the marriage-equality bill that is slated to pass his desk in the next month.

Now, as for the marriage equality bill: The Governor and I didn’t discuss that in our phone conversation. I recognize, and caution everyone, that it would be unwise to read any change here in the Governor’s position on marriage equality; he has said in past months and years that he would veto the bill, and we take him at his word. We will fight hard every minute of every day to win marriage equality in New Jersey. Nothing will deter us.

But again, right now, that doesn’t mean we should not give credit where credit is due. Today, the Governor has made civil rights history, and on behalf of all of us at Garden State Equality, I extend to him our most profound appreciation.

While he has said in the past that he supports civil unions and not full-fledged marriage, Christie has not actually made any recent comments indicating how he will vote when the gay-marriage bill hits his desk. With money flowing to GOP pols who cross the aisle on marriage equality and the tides of public-opinion turning in support of gay marriage, Queerty thinks there is a small chance he might see the value in being on the right side of history.