Sure, New Jersey’s gays are pretty devastated over yesterday’s nail-in-the-coffin vote from state senators, which killed any chance of marriage equality coming to the Garden State via vote. But did you know that Jersey’s legislature fail is actually a WIN for trying to secure marriage in the courts?
It’s sort of a hefty argument, but we see where columnist Charles Stile is coming from. By failing to get the bill passed, New Jersey wasn’t sending the message that gays deserve to be treated unfairly; it sent the message that the strategy of securing individual votes from state lawmakers is, most often, destined to fail.
But that’s another way of saying the fix needs fixing. Or put another way, gay couples continue to face discrimination despite the civil union law, which was supposed to confer the same legal rights and benefits on gay couples that heterosexual couples get through a civil marriage.
The 2006 court decision, which led to the civil union law, punted on the question of marriage and said it was for the Legislature to decide.
Well, the Democratic process has, for all intents and purposes, run its course. That makes the tally sheet of Thursday’s vote an important document: It puts a final stamp on a legislative process that failed to comply with the court order. Gay marriage advocates believe the court will be more likely to answer the question of “marriage” instead of deferring to the Legislature.
“Along the way, a lot of folks asked, well if there is a shot that you might lose, why would you call for a vote today?” said Steven Goldstein, director of Garden State Equality, the chief group lobbying for the bill. “The answer is … that there is conclusive proof that the legislative process has been exhausted. And the Legislature failed its state constitutional duty to provide equal protection under the law.”
Another round in the court is an uncertain trek, but it’s clear that the Legislature is no longer an option. The new Legislature, which is seated next Tuesday, is not likely to take up the cause knowing that Republican Governor-elect Chris Christie has vowed to veto the measure.
Stile might as well be talking about all state legislatures here.
Worth pointing out: Almost without fail, the legislative strategy has been the favored one by Gay Inc. groups and state-based equality organizations. This methodology worked in Vermont and New Hampshire; it almost worked in Maine. Connecticut, Iowa, and Massachusetts all owe their victories to the courts. What state legislatures have been skilled at doing, meanwhile, is passing laws that explicitly ban gay marriage. That’s not exactly how we want things to keep going.
Then if we’re going to start relying on the courts to secure freedoms from discrimination, how fun, then, that the federal Prop 8 trial Perry v. Schwarzenegger kicks off Monday. And not a moment too soon.
(Pictured: New Jersey State Sen. Nia Gill, who is The Awesome)
How in a democracy can the democratic processes have ever run its course? Suffrage failed to pass several times. And slavery was debated at the nation’s founding and only defeated almost a hundred years later. Both ends where achieved by the legislative process.
I’m just as disappointed as everyone else at what happened, but turning over our constitution because we do not like the way a democracy is operates is the wrong course to take.
Democracy is not easy or simple. It requires convincing others to go against the status quo in many cases. Which is hard. Women did not get suffrage by passing a lawsuit nor did the abolitionists and Civil Rights Activists did not end slavery and Jim Crow respectively by doing the same. They faught for those ineligible rights the way we do in a democracy. By passing laws, not filing filing legals briefs. And now those laws–that tore the country apart when they were being debated–are considered some of our most proudest moments.
We are not living in a Democracy if we decide “well, the legislature isn’t working, let’s go to the Supreme Court instead” , they are different branches of government for a reason.
Of course the longer it takes the more gay Americans suffer under injustice, but that just raises the need for us to convince our fellow heterosexual Americans why we should have the same rights as they do.
We don’t have a democracy. We are supposed to have a Constitutional Republic with three co-equal branches of government, but under Buttcrack Obreeder we have a dictatorship where you will be forced to buy overpriced insurance against your will, where bloggers can be harassed by TSA agents for not stating how much money they make in a year, and where ENDA, DADT, and DOMA are still law in spite of a Breedercrat pResident, a Breedercrat House, and a Breedercrat senate. None of these things are constitutional, and it is the right and duty of the Supreme Court to overturn bad laws.
If it wasn’t for the Supreme Court, the South would still have Jim Crow laws, and anti-miscegenation laws and sodomy laws would be as legal as free speech. It is the bigots who have violated the constitution by subverting it to pass laws targeted at gays.
Dear Clarence, you’re free to ask permission, from everyone via their votes, to get married. “It requires convincing others to go against the status quo in many cases.” Don’t expect everyone else to challenge reckless, unfettered homophobia.
Do you enjoy flogging yourself? “Of course the longer it takes the more gay Americans suffer under injustice, but that just raises the need for us to convince our fellow heterosexual Americans why we should have the same rights as they do.” You’ve got a twisted self loathing attitude! Have fun suffering while everyone else expects equal protection under the law from a powerful, and absolute branch of government, the court system!
No. 2 · Flex – Preach!
I’m a little confused though. What exactly, Clarence, would you have NJ do at this juncture? As Goldstein said, the legislative process is exhausted. A Christy Administration is a big, sweaty brick wall. So now what? Do we sit around and chat up our neighbors with pitiful puppy-dog eyes, saying “Help me get my rights, pleeeeze…”?? Really?
You give that a whirl, and good luck with it. The rest of us are sick and utterly tired of the bullshit.
LOL. I assure you, if just go to bunch of a appointed officials to tell me what my rights are was the way to do this I would be the first in line.
And again, I point to slavery and women’s suffrage. The rights they have now are rights that nobody today questions. We consider them as ineligible rights as the rights contained in the Bill of Rights; however, these are rights they were not born with but fought for, which after many years of failure led to the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendment.
Now we could say that it is unfair and unjust to have to fight for your basic rights, but that is what we do, that is what they did, in our democracy. We go out and we lobby and we advocate on our behalf to convince our neighbors. It’s not fair, but that is the way we do, or are suppose to do things.
And look every marriage-equality measure eventually ends up taking this route anyway. The Supreme Court of Mass made their decision and sent it back to the legislature, where the legislature tried to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage-equality, but gay-rights advocates lobbied and took to the streets and got the amendment defeated twice. And it can once again come up for a vote again in 2012, and as along as the state does not pass Marriage-Equality social-conservatives will continue to propose this amendment.
So stop pretending that because the legislative process is grueling, stacked against us, and annoying you can just wash your hands of it, hire a couple of good lawyers, and ultimately bypass the democratic process.
I’m so sick of hearing this Homo marriage crap NO YOU CAN’T marry that’s the dumbest thing I ever heard 2 penis’s touching can not get marry DUHHHHHHH
@ No: 5 Mike
Go sit on a butt plug for a week and loosen yourself up.
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