Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gay Marriage in New Jersey

The assault to legalize Gay Marriage in New Jersey is proceeding along two fronts.

First, New Jersey United for Marriage (NJUM) is working out of Montclair New Jersey to put pressure on state legislators they think are "moveable" in order to override Governor Christie's veto.

Unfortunately they need three senators and 12 assemblymen to pull that off.I think it's a long shot.

More promising is the Lambda Legal court case which claims that the Civil Unions currently available in New Jersey don't satisfy the 2006 New Jersey Supreme Court decision requiring something equivalent to marriage.

The argument that "different is inherently unequal" has been bolstered by the striking down of DOMA because federal regulations do not extend marriage benefits to Civil Unions.

The Christie administration has countered that the issue is with the federal government which should extend the same rights to Civil Unions. That strikes me as a pretty weak defense.

The judge has allowed time for more case law citations because she says that has been insufficient so far. One has to wonder that the hell else she needs beyond the 2006 New Jersey Supreme ruling and the SCOTUS DOMA case.

I guess a federal court case that rules Civil Unions aren't entitled to federal marriage benefits would help but DOMA hasn't been out of the picture long enoigh for that to occur.

A ruling is expected sometime in September.

In the meantime a Rutgers poll shows 67% of New Jersey residents want marriage equality on the ballot and 59% support legalizing it. Gay marriage supporters in New Jersey have consistently said that a minority's fundamental rights, such as marriage, should not be decided by popular vote.

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