Saturday, June 18, 2005

Gay Marriage will be legal in New Jersey

A New Jersey Court ruled recently that New Jersey's Constitution, which in the past has been very much interpreted to strongly protect minorities, does not allow Gay Marriage. This was a widely expected decision, since groups involved in the case, such as Garden State Equality and Lambda, expected the case to travel to the State Supreme Court.
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"The dissent was strong, cogent and even a little blistering," said Steven Goldstein, head of Garden State Equality, "We believe we're going up to the Supreme Court in very good shape, particularly with public opinion on our side."
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Indeed New Jersey public opinion is one of the most supportive of gay marriage in the nation, with 55% in support of gay marriage, and a stunningly low 40% opposed.
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As John Zogby put it: “No matter how the question is worded, the answer remains the same. More than half of likely voters support allowing gay couples to marry. And a majority believe it would be better if the state stopped fighting the marriage lawsuit and use the resources to focus on problems like the economy.”
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Due to the recent ruling on same-sex marriage in New Jersey, a lot will happen in the coming weeks about this case. Thus, I am making an official "Common Sense New Yorkism" prediction. I am pretty much certain that the next gay marriage victory will be in NEW JERSEY. That's right, with strong public support, Democrat-controlled legislature as well as governor's house, it is unlikely that momentum in NJ for marriage equality can be stopped. This will also be decided by the State Supreme Court sooner rather than later, since the Supreme Court ordered the appellate courts to expediate the case, meaning that the State Supreme Court is eager to make a ruling.
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What's more is the case was decided by a split appellate panels, which as stated before guarantees that the state court will hear the case.
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Judge Donald G. Collester Jr. wrote an inspiring dissent, which summed up arguments for same-sex marriage in the best way that I have ever heard it said.
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New Jersey will be the next Massachusetts, except unlike Massachusetts, we can finally say that a majority of the public is in strong support of granting marriage equality to LGBT people.
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Quote of the week
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“While the Domestic Partnership Act gives, at some cost, many, but not all, of the benefits and protections automatically granted to married persons, we have learned after much pain that separate but equal does not substitute for equal rights. What Sarah Lael and her partner lack and seek may be summed up in the word: dignity. But there is more they will gain from lawful marriage. That something else goes to the essence of marriage and is probably best left to poets rather than judges. It is the reason that people do get married. For marriage changes who you are. It gives stability, legal protection and recognition by fellow citizens. It provides a unique meaning to everyday life, for legally, personally and spiritually a married person is never really alone. Few would choose life differently.”
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- Judge Donald G. Collester Jr. (Sarah Lael, along with her partner and Lambda Legal, brought this case to the NJ courts).
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Newsflash:
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Gay Groups Demand Scott Bloch's Ouster
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In the wake of testimony by the director of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), Scott Bloch, before a Senate subcommittee, where he said he cannot enforce government anti-discrimination regulations for gay federal employees, several major LGBT organizations are calling for his resignation.

4 Comments:

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous C.D. Oldenburg said...

I don't have the info at my finger tips, but support for civil unions in Massachusetts is surprisingly high - and growing. Support for extending marriage rights to gays and lesbians is also on the rise.

The fact is, support for fair marriage laws is gaining ground across the country - despite all the negative news from the news media.

New Jersey, as well as New York, show great promise for their enlightened citizens.

 
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