Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hysteria over NJ "gay marriage" court ruling

My conservative friends may disagree in whole or in part on this issue, but what's a little disagreement among friends? From the AP:
The gay marriage issue in New Jersey is moving from a legal dispute to a political one.

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that New Jersey must extend all the rights of marriage to gay couples. But the justices left it to state lawmakers to decide whether to provide those rights in the form of marriages, civil unions or something else — and gave the Legislature 180 days to reach a decision.
The NJ Supreme Court is a liberal activist court most of the time. After all, recall that in 2002, they legislated from the bench in declaring that the NJ legislature's law stating the deadline that ballot changes could be made was to be ignored...and the court implemented its own deadline, contrary to (and circumventing of) state law. However, in this case, the NJ SC decided to defer to the legislature. Why now, I don't know. But it is what it is, and the fact is that the NJ legislature should indeed be the one addressing the issue.

However, let the hysteria begin:
Several Democratic lawmakers said they will push for full marriage rights.

But some Republicans, the minority party in both houses of the Legislature, said they will seek a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Assemblyman Richard Merkt, R-Morris, vowed to have the justices impeached.

"Neither the framers of New Jersey's 1947 constitution, nor the voters who ratified it, ever remotely contemplated the possibility of same-sex marriage," Merkt said.
A state constitutional amendment is certainly a viable option to circumvent a court's ruling. But on what grounds would Merkt have the justices impeached? Seems reactionary and poorly thought out to me.

WARNING: Juvenile humor advisory! In, you've been warned:
National gay rights advocates embraced the ruling. Lara Schwartz, legal director of Human Rights Campaign, said if legislators have to choose between civil unions and marriage, it is a no-lose situation for gay couples.

"They get to decide whether it's chocolate or double-chocolate chip," she said.
Or perhaps "fudge or double-packed fudge"? I know, I know, that's horrible...hey, you were warned!

I've made my thoughts on gay marriage clear before, so allow me to sum it up for those who have arrived since then: I oppose gay marriage, but I support civil unions. Marriage is a bond of holy matrimony, while civil unions have nothing to do with religion and allow two consenting adults to have the same benefits (health insurance, etc.) that married couples have. Maybe it's just semantics, but that's my take.

Plus, let's get real: gay marriage will never be the law of the land, especially since some states have already amended their constitutions to prohibit it. Just as a total ban on abortion will never occur, nor will universal gay marriage...whether anyone likes it or not.