New Jersey Supreme Court to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage

NjThe ruling will come tomorrow at 3 pm, says a notice on the court’s website.

October surprise? The decision will certainly have political repercussions for the upcoming election, particularly if the court rules in favor of same-sex marriage. Just what they will be and how severe is anyone’s guess. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Garden State Equality has announced that a statewide rally will take place on Wednesday night at 7:00 pm, Unitarian Church of Montclair, 67 Church Street, downtown Montclair. The rally will take place whether the court’s decision is for or against.

Comments

  1. Javier says

    First. I ain’t gonna lie. I hope they rule against gay marriage, although I am a fervent supporter of same-sex marriage. I want to win at the ballot box in November, and a state Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage will not only ignite the religious right to come out and vote in two weeks but doom ballot initiatives involving civil unions, same-sex marriage, and domestic partnerships to an anti-gay result next month. We have no control over the decision at this point, but I wish the NJ Supreme Court to wait to announce their decision until AFTER the election. It is wild that they would dump such a charged decision right before the election.

  2. Frank says

    Just as Democrats are about to win an election, this comes up. It’ll change the whole news cycle and send evangelical voters to the polls in droves. This is why gay marriage has to be accomplished by democratic change and not judicial fiat. It’ll totally screw the election for us.

  3. Derek says

    A decision for gay marriage would play right into KARL ROVE’S desire to fire up the GOP base and get “values voters” to bombard the polls yet again. A victory in this decision will mean our doom in November.

  4. Jacob says

    This is one time where gays and progressives are hoping the court rules against gay marriage. Hopefully they will not disappoint us. The fact they are rushing this decision out bodes well for our hope they will rule against gay marriage. It will be weird to see gays celebrating a decision against gay marriage if they so rule.

  5. Anita Woodward says

    I don’t know, I kind of hope that they do approve gay marriage in NJ. I am from there and it would be nice to get married there.

  6. Derek says

    “I don’t know, I kind of hope that they do approve gay marriage in NJ. I am from there and it would be nice to get married there.”

    Would you be willing to sacrifice winning this election nationwide for one state’s decision?

  7. Patrick says

    I’m speechless at the idiocy that seeps from the comments above. Don’t you morons realize that ANY decision will send value voters out in droves? If they rule against, the Religious Right hops in their SUVs to throw the last nail in the coffin on election day with smug sneers on their arrogant faces. If they rule for, the Religious Right hops in their SUVs to make a statement about the sanctity of marriage, the god-hating NJ Supreme Court, and what their pastor thinks about men who like to smell pretty.

    Wise up! The ONLY acceptable outcome is that the Court rules for marriage.

  8. Becks07 says

    See what choosing the WRONG battle gets you?

    I am certain that there are people who do not fit the mold I am about to decry, but…

    Some of the biggest, most vocal supporters of gay marriage — guys who become practically apoplectic at the mention of the subject — are the biggest HOE-BAGS I know, spending hours on Manhunt and at the sex clubs. These are SOME OF the people driving the gay community focus on gay marriage and it drives me batshit.

    It’s these “hey, I’m sex positive!” activists with no concept at all of what marriage means to Joe and Ethel Everyday in Paducah who chose the counterproductive topic to begin with.

    We’re fucking with them in their churches, people…all well and good, but when you put the stick in the heart of the hornet’s nest, you better be ready to get stung in some terribly uncomfortable places.

    Flame me. I just feel the gay marriage issue was driven, in part, by people with stars in their eyes and gay ghetto-centric mentalities.

  9. Ted says

    First, the courts are most certainly the appropriate forum in which to decide important issues of civil rights. The Framers crafted the three separate branches of government precisely for this purpose – to ensure that impartial (read: un-elected) judges protect the Constitutional rights of the minority to prevent tyranny of the majority. Second, in no civil rights movement is it ever appropriate to concede rights and issues for fear of repercussions. Legislatures cannot (and will not) “give” us rights that are rightfully ours — they must be taken by their owners, without apology. As such, a victory is a victory regardless of what happens in the midterm elections. Let’s hope for a victory.

  10. RB says

    For the first time I agree with everyone here! A decision for gay marriage at this point in the game will destroy us! A win now in NJ would galvanize the Christian right the same way Gavin Newsom spurred DOMA’s!

  11. dc-20008 says

    I see both sides. Being orig. from NJ, I want them to do the right thing and allow marriage-equality.

    This is a matter of equal rights. Period.

    However, tomorrow is the worst time for them to announce this. But a couple weeks ago Rhode Island residents got equal marriage via a Masschusetts ruling and nothing really was said nationally.

    Is there ever a “ggod time” to deny human being equality? Should we accept be less than full fledged Americans?

  12. RB says

    “It’s these “hey, I’m sex positive!” activists with no concept at all of what marriage means to Joe and Ethel Everyday in Paducah who chose the counterproductive topic to begin with.”

    Way to go Becks07! I could not have said it better myself. I want my own relationship to be recognized. I want my rights and I understand what that means. Too many here have NO IDEA what it is like for someone you share your life with, in marriage, to walk away with half of EVERYTHING YOU OWN simply via divorce. We want to idealize our rights to marry the man of our dreams and that is the problem. WE must be ready for the responsiblity when we get it. THE FULL RESPONSIBILITY.

    Be ready to be “to get stung in some terribly uncomfortable places” when marriage is actually an option! Many do not see that with “marriage” comes RESPONSIBILITY. Responsibility that the crowd on Manhunt are NOT ready for.

  13. stolidog says

    gay marriage in NJ will not lose the election for the democrats in November. The only thing that could cost us the election is if pictures surface of Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton having an orgy with a group of female pages, which is not gonna happen.

    The reason they are announcing their decision is because the Chief Justice is retiring. I think the fact that they are pushing out the decision bodes well for those who support equality…there aren’t that many blue state judges that want an anti-equality decision piped onto their retirement cake.

  14. stolidog says

    By the way, Ted, thank you, well said. Anyone who argues that voters, and not the judiciary, should decide Civil Rights issues clearly doesn’t know their Constitution or American History very well.

    We need to win in the courts.

    For those of you who digress about the morality of those pushing gay marriage, shut up, it’s completely irrelevant to the court’s decision and certainly not something on which to base your support, or lack therof, for gay marriage.

  15. Tony says

    This issue is not the one facing us today. Musgrave is campaigning on this issue alone in Colorado and is in serious trouble and that’s a Red state. This decision makes no difference to the Right this time, they are not voting on this, they are concerned with far too many other issues such as Immigration and Iraq. Mark Foley and Kuo’s revelations will make most of them stay home. Aren’t we due a victory? Cmon people! You all sound defeated already. That’s kind of sad.

  16. Jersey says

    Yeah RB all of us Jersey folks are constantly on Manhunt and don’t deserve marriage, yours is a foolish argument, sorry. I was hoping they would delay the verdict because I assume this means it will be no to marriage. The court is also the only place for this as the law is unclear as to whether gay couples in Jersey are specifically denied the right to marriage, who else should interpret the existing laws, huh? That said, living in Jersey I hope I’m wrong and we are given the right to marry tomorrow. Fuck the fundies!

  17. 24play says

    Becks and RB,

    I have no doubt every queen on Manhunt can treat marriage with the same seriousness that straights do–and act just as responsibly toward their legal partners.

    I’m sure we can slut around and get divorced just as often and as quickly.

    So your point would be?

    Best be putting your wagging fingers to better use, ladies. Those treasured back issue of Hero aren’t going to flip through themselves.

  18. Caleb says

    It’s just politically ignorant to state that a decision against us will have the same impact as a decision against us. Almost all political scientists, pundits, and pollsters agree that it was the pictures of gay couples actually marrying in 2004 and pro-gay marriage decisions right before the election that galvanize the right to come out and vote crushingly Republican that year. Almost every single poll this year has found that gay marriage has not been on people’s radar scene because “out of sight, out of mind.” Court rulings against gay marriage across the nation this year has made people forget about gay marriage; thus, until this decision came down, it was not gonna be much of an issue except in a few states it is on the ballot. Pollsters have noted that the rightwing’s activism and voting participation is connected to the perceived threat that gay marriage is about to happen now, is a real and not theoretical threat. If the Court rules for gay marriage tomorrow, this is the OCtober surprise Karl Rove hopes for.

  19. says

    There is always the chance that the Republican “base” is no longer the reliable knee-jerk constituency it once was, especially after this do-nothing Congress showed that Republicans in absolute power can be corrupt and deceitful (e.g., Abramoff, Foley, Ney, DeLay, Duke Cunningham, not to mention Iraq). Perhaps the NJ Supreme Court will rule for gay marriage, and we will still win at the ballot box? I tend to think that those nuts on the right who run out to vote because they want to “protect” marriage or make all abortions illegal will do so regardless of how this court decides.

  20. timothy says

    I don’t know. The social and political context is quite different than 2004, even its only been two years. Civil Rights and equality before the law has the big mo, in my opinion, and stangely despite the “conservative” era in which we find ourselves. I’d suggest that the more the fundamentalists push their controlling social agenda the more the libertarian streak in the American political character fires up. To quote one of their leading lights – bring it on – and then be prepared to fight righteously for the fundamental American principle of “all men (and women) are created equal” and let them fight for their special rights for certain people. This election is monumental, and that’s because so many people in positions of power have tossed first principles overboard. Lets get off that boat and stand for what’s right!

  21. kooki says

    just remember what happened in the 50’s when the segregration cases came in… angry reactions to historic progressive court decisions will always happen.

    I do not know what NJ will do, it’s exciting and scary at the same time. my heart hopes they do it, but my brain says no, because of how good the democrats are doing around the country. it would be a shame to see all this fail… then again, i follow my heart…

    so I’m going to say Fuck the Jesus Freaks/Evangelical Nutballs and ring that fucking bell of liberty for the gays!

  22. Jersey says

    What’s right is right.

    Haha, I’m nervous about tomorrows decision and I’m sure my partner is too, but for opposite reasons. I’m about to be impossible to live with.

  23. FunMe says

    I HATE saying this, but I hope the decision is no to gay marriage.

    Better: to have the decision postponed and be a YES to gay marriage AFTER November 7.

    It is EXTREMELY important that at least the Congress goes to the Democrats so real change can finally happen in areas that affect all Americans.

    Weirdest decision situation!

  24. Voxbear says

    Fundies will try to make hay with this decision either way. Certainly the short term is worse in that regard if it is a positive decision. Bur regardless of the outcome, we need to get some facts out there:

    FACT: 4 of 7 Justices were appointed by a GOP Governor, Whitman.

    FACT: This decision is very narrow: interpreting the NJ State Constitution.

    FACT: Will not change the Federal Defense of Marriage Act or any other state’s right to deny recognition of NJ same-sex marriages.

    FACT: Both Menendez and Kean are pro-civil union, and anti-gay marriage.

  25. stolidog says

    Gay Marriage matters during presidential elections, not congressional.

    If a judge in New Jersey said it was ok to have sex with donkeys on the streets of Trenton, it wouldn’t matter….Nov. 7th is local election time, not national.

    No matter how many fundies get fired up in Alabama, they aren’t going to affect an election in Nevada.

    By the way, I was just proving a point, I wasn’t comparing gay marriage with beastiality, a la Rick Sucktorum.

  26. Frank says

    FACT? Facts don’t matter two weeks before an election. Facts don’t matter to religious fundamentalists. Period. The full effect of this won’t be felt in NJ, but in Tennessee, Missouri, Virginia and Kentucky, where Democrats are poised to make unprecedented gains by running conservative Democrats.

  27. says

    I think it is prudent to wonder if a decision for gay marriage might energize the thus-far unenergized right wing. That is my panicked first thought. But I think to be more rational about it, we’re not talking about “the” election, we’re talking about the “elections” on November 7. Not every election is going to swing right based on the second state to allow gay marriage. For sure, there are some races where it could add some points to the right; I don’t see it adding points to the right in NJ since both candidates are against gay marriage, but McCaskill in MO might want to avoid being a bridesmaid in a lesbian ceremony for the next 13 days. I think right now, the Senate is realistic but optimistic thinking; it’s within reach, but not a done deal and probably a tie or a slight minority are more likely. The main goal should be Congress (if we have to pick one!), and there are enough races with Dems out front and enough competitive races that Dems are much more certainly (though never CERTAINLY until November 8) able to prevail. Looking at it that way, the worst-case outcome (I think!) is a couple of close calls might swing right, the next week or more could be dominated by an unwelcome change of subject from Republican homoscandals, the “worst Congress ever” and the Iraq War to “lookit, NJ went gay! if you don’t want to go gay, vote Republican!” But probably, deep breath, the overall outcome will not be largely affected. One last thing: At this point, and I’m guilty of it myself at moments, the stupidest thing for progressives to be is nervous nellies.

  28. Ezra says

    Gay marriage supporters have had a two-year losing streak, striking out in state courts in New York and Washington state and in ballot boxes in 15 states where constitutions have been amended since 2004 to ban same-sex unions,

    YOu’re kidding yourself if you think a decision for gay marriage would not impact the election mere thirteen days before a razor thin election. Polls are indicating that the GOP base is coming home in the final days, and a pro-gay marriage decision might just be that final spark that ROve seems assured will be there to propel the GOP to victory. ROve and BUsh seem almost omniscent that they know already something like this is gonna come and tip the election in their favor. You are naive if you think it won’t. I hope they rule no to gay marriage.

  29. David says

    I think Ted’s post needs to appear twice. He articulates more lucidly than I can:

    “First, the courts are most certainly the appropriate forum in which to decide important issues of civil rights. The Framers crafted the three separate branches of government precisely for this purpose – to ensure that impartial (read: un-elected) judges protect the Constitutional rights of the minority to prevent tyranny of the majority.

    Second, in no civil rights movement is it ever appropriate to concede rights and issues for fear of repercussions. Legislatures cannot (and will not) “give” us rights that are rightfully ours — they must be taken by their owners, without apology. As such, a victory is a victory regardless of what happens in the midterm elections. Let’s hope for a victory.”

  30. Mark says

    My guess is that almost (atleast 90%) of those reading this wouldn’t last in a marriage for more than a year. Stop romanticizing it and wake up. It’s hard work. Most gay men wouldn’t know that type of commitment if it bit them in the ass.

  31. jimmyboyo says

    hmmmmmmm

    gay marriage + pictures = 2004 defeat???

    BULL SHIT

    kerry’s flip flopping (and yes I a far far far left wing dem admit he flip flopped), kerry’s weak ass response to swiftboaters, kerry being very very very top 1% white north easterner, the Clinton’s not going gung ho campaigning with and for Kerry due to Hillary wanting to set the field for 08, Many ultra liberal people seeing Kerry being a corporate whore just as bad as repubs, and yes many many many too many LIBERAL democrat voting jews who get starry eyed distracted whenever “Israel” comes up (Iraq was Israel’s problem with Saddam supporting Palestinians…he wasn’t our’s) voted for the president and the party dealing with an enemy of Israel was the reason dems lost in 2004

    The hard core base of the repubs equate dems with satan and are already stirred up to vote repub on Nov. Gay marriage doesn’t push them any harder then they are already pushing to get to the polls.

    27-35% are the repub base
    27-35% are the dem base

    30-46% are independents, moderates, and a lot of radical left wing dems who see very little difference between “current” Dem leadership (abhor the clinton DLC as verses Dean’s DNC)and the repubs

    It is and always will be the 30-46% non base of either who matter. They do not care about gay marriage as a decider on who to vote for. They care about BALLSY strong candidates with a message, who aren’t corporate whores (the net roots candidates are showing that this year), who will fight back, etc…..

    Also let us not forget Ohio and Florida voting problems………..and the masses had not woken up to the fact that repubs LIE

    The 30-46% who count have finally woken up to the fact that Bush and repubs LIE through their teeth and only care about power at all costs.

    The (dem) Bluetsunami is coming and it will sweep across america. It cannot be stopped. The masses have woken up and are demanding change. Hopefuly the Dems will be as progressive as the masses want and not just repub lite as usual.

    As someone else pointed out, the Rhode Island decission was barely a blip.

    Anyway; on “responsibility”. I predict when Divorce lawyers realize how much money will be made from gay divorces (we on average do have larger amounts of income, disposable cash, and estates) then we will have a bunch of straight conservative Divorce lawyers Lobbying to legalize gay marriage.

  32. jimmyboyo says

    PS

    Those who bemoan a judgement in our favor in NJ have bought into the dem excuse of why they lost 2004.

    We did NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! loose 2004 for the dem party. Kerry and the dem party lost 2004.

    Do NOT!!!! buy into the crap that it was our fault.

    If Kerry had been a man he would have NOT conceded defeat after only 24 hours. He would have had lawyers and investigators going over the blatant discrepencies between exit polls and the votes in Ohio as well as all the complaints from African americans in Ohio showing up at voting stations with NO working voting machines.

    In any and every other country when exit polls are different from the actual vote, we the USA have always declared a faulty election and preasured those countrys to do a re-vote. Hell bush even demanded in 2004 no less that another country that had a discrepency between exit polls and votes to have a re-vote. The unkitigated gaul and hypocricy.

    Kerry proved himself to be a loser and awimp. He had NO balls, and I refuse to be the scapegoat for weak ass dems who couldn’t get a message together or stand up for themselves.

  33. Rmarks says

    I also think it’s wrong to think that the Dem’s taking Congress is going to be this magnificent thing for everyone.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hope beyond hope that they get Congress.

    BUT, that doesn’t meant that they’re suddenly going to draft legislation giving us the right to marry, overturn DOMA, or repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

    A NJ decision in favor of marriage would be the only guarantee that the gay rights movement takes a step forward.

    If the Democrats cannot take back Congress with the republican scandal, the war in Iraq, and the president’s approval ratings so low, it will NOT be because of a state court decision granting us our fundamental rights.

  34. rudy says

    Mark, You cast your net of aspertions (alt: aspersions) too broadly. I know many gay men and women in long term relationships that have endured, indeed thrived, despite societal hostility. My partner and I have been together for almost 28 years. In my circle of friends we are not unique. Most have been in de facto if not yet de jure marriages for more than two decades. And I repeat, they have accomplished this without the support of society at large and often in the face of hostility. You need to have more faith in your family of gays. Not everyone is as immature as you believe yourself to be.

  35. Kip says

    Nobody’s mentioned it yet, but there is no reason why today’s decision necessarily has to legalize or ban full marriage. We might get civil unions; we might get an order from the court to the legislature to create a system like civil unions; we might get a complete overhaul of the civil marriage system (unlikely); or the court could very well duck the question and rule against on a technicality (a la Ayotte, O’Connor’s last decision).

    But yeah, this is the chief’s last decision. Nobody wants to go down as the woman who suggested that the legislature should within two years legalize civil unions. It’ll be bigger than that.

  36. mark says

    i am so over this whole marriage thing, the gay rights movement has been hijacked by the marriage brigade!, the demonisation of the single guy will be their next agenda!

  37. Wayne says

    If the election is lost because NJ votes to allow same sex marriage, then the election is lost as it should be. I’m a proponent of same-sex marriage, equal rights for all, and while “choose your battles” is a nice phrase to use, this is one that has chosen me. As a Gay man I can’t stand by and say I would support a ruling against us regardless of the larger outcome. The Dem’s are no closer to supporting same sex marriage than the Rep’s are… so what is everyone so afraid of?

  38. dc-20008 says

    Over 1000 rights and privileges come with government recognized marriage.

    I demand to be treated as 100% American with 100% of my rights and privileges available to me.

  39. jimmyboyo says

    Rmarks and others

    Exactly

    If the dems can’t take congress with the Iraq fiasco, Bish incompetence, scandals, corruption, etc….then they do not deserve to win and they damn well better not blame us for their weakness.

    Dean at the DNC put foreword the 50 state strategy with the net roots, and we have 80 competitive seats!!!

    The DLC, DSCC, and DCCC with Emanuel and Schummer leading the old guard dem NY and Washington DC dem establishment have been fumbeling right and left.

    The 30% plan isn’t coming through…..

    Bower a net root guy got together a list of all Dem non contested (either No challenger or the dem is a shoo in) seats and then compiled the cash on hand in their war chests from FEC fillings. Quess what!!! There is a lot of cash on hand that the net root candidtates can use to seal the dealbut aren’t getting because people like

    Kerry 14 million on hand and only gave $15,000

    Hillary with 20 million on hand only gave 2 million (yeah 2 million is a lot, but if she wants to be prez she should give 30% of her war chest and show true leadership)
    etc

    all of it coming to a total of over 150 to 200 million dollars = 30%= 50 million dollars that could be going to flood the country for the dems to seal the deal.

    Quess what…the ONLY candidate to answer the 30% call is our own gay politico Barney Franks. Barney 1 day after the 30% call sent 230,000+ from his 750,000+ war chest.

    All the straight dem safe seats with lots of cash are sending nothing and DEAN is talking about how the DNC will have to take out a loan of 10-20 million…a loan!!!!! while fat cat Kerry sits on 14 million and Hillary on 20 million

    Kerry is the worse

    14 million cash on hand and has only given $15,000 to elect a dem congress

    Dispicable and proof positive that it will NOT be us gays who loose it for the dems but rather the Dem establishment that will loose it for them if they can’t ride the Bluetsunami

  40. chrisnyc says

    Here’s the simple truth.

    This isn’t a simple, one-state decision. If they rule for equality in marriage…everyone can get married there. They have no law against out-of-state couples getting married there like Mass does. Having cases of people being legally married in one state and then not recognized in a neighboring state is what finally opens up the equal protection/commerce clause federal argument.

    On a more abstract level, as stated by some, if you can’t win openly endorsing and celebrating the BASIC values of your party…you shouldn’t ever win. I’m sure we could clean house if all dems supported the war…oh wait…that’s not so popular anymore.

    I do, think, however, that it should be like the Mass ruling. The court should say, denying them rights is wrong according to our state constitution…legislature, you have X much time to fix it. Courts shouldn’t write law, just say what jives with the consitutions and what doesn’t.

  41. DCCaniac says

    “Having cases of people being legally married in one state and then not recognized in a neighboring state is what finally opens up the equal protection/commerce clause federal argument.”

    You do realize that will be a disaster for gays since most people on the federal courts are conservatives today appointed by GOP presidents? And the US Supreme is more rightwing now than it may have ever been, and will possibly be even more so by the the time GW Bush leaves office. Further, by forcing gay marriage as a federal issue, we build support and urgency for a federal constitutional amendment that would make any state decision in favor of gay marriage invalid. So, you better look before you leap off politically destructive cliffs.

  42. Stefan says

    Come on, guys. A win is a win is a win. If the court rules in our favor today, that is a VITAL demonstration that the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts was not a fluke, and that we are not going away.

    To believe that we should lose today in New Jersey – it feels unreal to actually type that! – is counting on a universe of “maybes” and “could be, ifs” of future elections that WE CANNOT CONTROL. Take a look at the current government, or for that matter any 12-month slice of modern American politics: it is an exercise in unexpected turns, false demonstrations of sincerity, and fallen champions. Our political system is messy, unpredictable, and highly inefficient – it’s DESIGNED that way. There are very few definites that can be generated from it, and one of those is a supreme court ruling such as the one that would grant us the right to marry in New Jersey.

    Step by step, we can win a war – let’s hope for a victory in New Jersey today, and then deal with the fallout afterward with the same determination that got us this far.

  43. chrisnyc says

    DCCANIAC –

    1) It doesn’t matter if you can get married in a state if it isn’t recognized federally. It’s a nice token, but it isn’t equality.

    2) Battles generally aren’t without risk. Most of the country did not support interracial marriage, and a ban could have easily have been upheld given the cultural climate of the dayl; however, every now and then people come along who actually care about what’s right versus what’s popular or well-timed.

    3) If you’re concern is the conservative leanings of the federal courts…is your suggestion waiting the 25-30 it will be before a large segment of them reach retirement, with the hope that a democrat is in office as they retire?

    I’m arguing this strictly on the legitimacy of the arguments hoping it doesn’t happen. I’m actually someone who thinks the best strategy is going for civil unions first to get basic rights, and then either going for “unequal treatment,” or getting the government out of “marriage” all together.

  44. says

    Well, in terms of NJ, I recall a Star Ledger sponsored poll of “most important issues” to likely voters and gay marriage was so far down on the list. you gotta understand, NJ has some of the highest property taxes in the country and NJ is the most densely populated and on of the wealthiest states–these people got alot more to worry about than who’s marrying who. ESPECIALLY when it comes to their money.

    In fact, gay anything is just not so important to NJ voters.

    HOWEVER we all know that, nationally, fundies have been opening their eyes to how they’ve been had in 2004. Also, as someone else said, if the Dems f*ck this sh*t up…

    I mean, seriously i’m still wondering how Kerry f*cked it up in 2004, but atleast it was more of a challenge for him. ’06 is like a g*ddamned giveaway.

    DON’T give into the bullsh*t! It’s bad enough we have THEM blaming us for their incompetence in their political losses. Last thing we need is to have gays blaming gays too.

    …not that I’d ever get married (hello! my bachelorhood doesn’t expire ’til age 30!) but I’d rather garner some civil rights for my homo brethren than pull my hair out over the voting trends of some toothless Bible thumper in Tennessee.

  45. rudy says

    Zeke, Where are you? I miss your consistently wise observations. I am torn on this issue. I believe that legal victories are important, nee crucial, for the long-term goal of basic human rights for my gay bretheren but am concerned about the short-term political repercussions. This could re-energize the seemingly lethargic far right base of the Republican Party.

  46. jimmyboyo says

    Rudy

    LOL

    I too am jonsing for my daily dose of ZEKE. His posts are wise and he has a way of calming me down.

    :-)

    ZEKE, where are you?!

  47. rudy says

    Zeke! Forget Tommy Lee and his ten foot Polish Pole. Come home to us on the political threads. Jimbo and I (and I am sure others) are all at loose ends without you.

  48. Ben says

    I think Karl Rove thinks – or knows thanks to his dirty tricks – that the ruling is going to be pro-gay marriage and thus a tool he can use to spin the election into a Rethuglican victory. But I have a hard time believing America – in a post-Katrina, IraqWar mess, Foleygate world – is going to fall for it again. Sure, some will – hey, I saw Jesus Camp last night and some people will fall for ANYTHING – and the loudmouths will suddenly be louder…but people are worried about health care and drug costs – Medicare part D is taking the AARP legions to the Democrats without the Dummicrats even realizing it! So let’s take a deep breath and commit to fighting even harder if NJ is a pro-gay decision and Karl tried to twist it. Fight back. Talk to your neighbors. Canvas in your community. Don’t excuse the God warriors. If they want a war, give it to them.

  49. jimmyboyo says

    Ben, right on

    Toss in that the other day Bush in a CNBC interview put Social Security privitization back on the table for after Nov 7th. Heck, right after his election vistory and with a sure thing repub controled congress he couldn’t get that passed…….He just delivered a silver bullet to the dems and they aren’t using it.

    Anyway; hey Rudy, I just sent an e-mail off to zeke to try to get him to post on this NJ court case. No matter what, he with his family man perspective will be interesting.

  50. Zeke says

    Lord have mercy, I didn’t realize there were so many people here who gave a rat’s behind about what I had to say. And from such an array of the political spectrum; Democrats and Republicans and Libertarians oh my! I am truly honored and completely humbled.

    I have been reading the comments here from the start but have intentionally stayed out of this discussion because it affects me so personally and so deeply. Because this issue affects me and my family so deeply I fear that my ugly Mississippi, slash and burn redneck alter ego will get out and I will lose what respect I have earned at Towleroad. It’s hard for me to remain objective, or even polite, when I feel that my family’s (and most especially my child’s) future may be at stake.

    Let me just give the Cliff’s notes version of where I stand on this particular situation. You asked for it, here’t goes…

    First: I am HIGHLY suspicious of the timing of this decision. Though the Chief Justice is retiring, the announcement could have been delayed until after the election to avoid allowing this to become politicized two weeks before an election. I believe delaying the ruling would have been the professional, prudent and a-political way for a COURT to have handled this.

    Second: I become irritated when a person who has never committed themselves to another person for any longer than it takes to get his pants back on tells me that gay marriage doesn’t matter. I am making no judgments about any particular person here because I don’t know anyone personally. I just know for a fact that they exist.

    See, I’m already dancing on the edge of getting ugly. Deep breath Zeke, count to ten…….

    Third: I just can’t bring myself to route for the defeat of my, or anyone else’s civil rights, no matter what the current political stakes or circumstances are. Benjamin Franklin, one of the greatest thinkers in history said (and I paraphrase); A man who would trade one ounce of liberty for a moment of perceived security deserves neither liberty NOR security. In my opinion, this statement seems extremely relevant here.

    And finally: Call me unrealistic, call me a dreamer, call me an idealist: I’m definitely guilty of the latter two and sometimes perhaps guilty of the first but I’m fighting for my FAMILY here, not for some social or political statement, as far too many others seem to view this fight. This is not about having a ceremony with flowers, cake and pictures on the steps of City Hall. This is about ensuring that my son is able to be raised by the only other parent he’s ever known, should I die. This is about recognizing the VALIDITY and DIGNITY of my SON’S family. For those of you who have never had the joy and responsibility of having a family of your own, THAT’S what marriage and family is about. It’s about fighting ten times harder for someone else (spouse, child) than you would ever have the strength to fight for yourself. I truly wish that everyone could understand that.

    I TOTALLY understand the concerns and reasoning of those here who are hoping for the defeat of this case; believe me I do! I too wonder if it would be a victory in battle at the expense of the war. I don’t know what the answer to this latest no win situation is but forgive me if I can’t join in the “Just say NO” pep rally.

    My greatest hope is that the ruling is in our favor AND that Americans will vote to send the opposition party into the majority to curtail the steam rolling policies of the current regime. I can’t help but believe that those who are motivated to vote by gay marriage issues, were already motivated to vote before this ruling. They were going to vote anyway. The good thing about it is, no matter how fired up they are, they can only vote once.

    You ask for it, you got it.

    That will probably be the last time you ask for my opinion…but I sincerely doubt it will be the last time I offer it. :)

    Peace

  51. jimmyboyo says

    Thank you zeke

    Peace

    All I saw in your post was beautiful heart felt Mississippi humanitarian wonderfulness. No hint of so called red neck ugliness

    Your point of view weighs heavier than others (including my own) because we do not currently have a family…..Husband (in name though not legality YET), a child, etc

    Thank you for your post

  52. stolidog says

    this court decision will not affect the upcoming election, but will matter dramatically in the ongoing GBLT civil rights movement.

    How can you hope we fail? That’s as pathetic as it gets. My recollection is that the black community didn’t roll over and die just because some southern states enacted laws against them. They fought on, one step at a time, and they won.

    Why shouldn’t we?

  53. Kip says

    Just to clarify: the court could NOT have held the decision until after the election. If they had then the chief couldn’t have written or even signed the decision, and it would have to have been reheard under a new court in the next term.

    What’s more, this is the judiciary system. Ideally at least it’s supposed to be at a remove from the political process.

  54. Zeke says

    “Just to clarify: the court could NOT have held the decision until after the election. If they had then the chief couldn’t have written or even signed the decision, and it would have to have been reheard under a new court in the next term.”

    I’ve heard different opinions on this claim. I read an article yesterday that said that the decision has already been made, written and signed and that the date of the public release of the decision would have no bearing on the case.

    Even if this claim is incorrect and the release date of the decision does matter, it seems to me that postponing and rehearing the case might still be preferable to turning this decision into a political football two weeks before a critical national election.

  55. jimmyboyo says

    2:50 p.m. east coast time

    Let the countdown begin

    10 minutes till the announcement at 3:00 p.m. east coast time

  56. Kip says

    A not small victory: from skimming the decision, it’s ALL RIGHTS of straight couples, and whether it’s called “marriage” or something else is for the legislature to decide.

  57. Kip says

    NO–they did not affirm gay marriage. In fact the decision says explicitly that “Despite the rich diversity of this State, the tolerance and goodness of its people, and the many recent advances made by gays and lesbians toward achieving social acceptance and equality under the law, the Court cannot find that the right to same-sex marriage is a fundamental right under our constitution.”

    What the decision does do is say that the NJ legislature must legalize same-sex marriage OR civil unions within 180 days.

  58. rudy says

    “Held: Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds that under the equal protection guarantee of Art.1, Para. 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed same-sex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.”

    CONGRATULATIONS my brothers and sisters.

  59. jimmyboyo says

    Hell, call it “mutual partnership flying spagheti ufos” for all I care. The rights themselves not the word is what is important.

  60. Kip says

    Reading a little more: “We will not presume that a separate statutory scheme, which uses a title other than marriage, contravenes equal protection principles, so long as the rights and benefits of civil marriage are made equally available to same-sex couples. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to same-sex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter
    left to the democratic process.”

    So they are leaving it to the NJ legislature to decide, but if they opt for civil unions the court is also leaving the door open for a second case that could declare civil unions insufficient.

  61. Kip says

    One other interesting thing here: the chief justice wasn’t even in the majority! Her semi-dissenting opinion holds that gay marriage IS an NJ constitutional right.

    The decision was 4-3.

  62. REJOICING says

    So I agree with Jimmyboyo – it would have been lovely had they just said “let ’em marry,” but this is plenty for me. I mean, if they have 180 days to come up with their version of full and equal marriage rights for gays, that gives us just enough of a window to downplay it and avoid rousing conservative Bible thumpers before the election, right? Yay for us!

  63. Zeke says

    I think they made the right decision. It deflates the Right’s fanatics but opens the door and encourages, even requires the state legislature to act to remedy the disparities between gay and straight couples.

    This ruling is very similar to the one issued by the South African Supreme Court.

    I honestly believe that this is the absolute BEST outcome that we could have asked for.

    I am excited and relieved.

    Thank God for New Jersey. They just showed NY and CA how it should be done.

  64. Kip says

    I’m just starting to read the dissent–it’s tough stuff, and you can tell that this woman does not want to retire. From the chief’s dissent:

    “The majority acknowledges, as it must, that there is a universally accepted fundamental right to marriage ‘deeply rooted’ in the ‘traditions, history, and conscience of the people.’ Yet, by asking whether there is a right to SAME-SEX marriage, the Court avoids the more difficult questions of personal dignity and autonomy raised by this case. Under the majority opinion, it appears that persons who exercise their individual liberty interest to choose same-sex partners can be denied the fundamental right to participate in a state-sanctioned civil marriage. I would hold that plaintiffs’ due process rights are violated when the State so burdens their liberty interests.”

    So: 7 out of 7 want us to get all our rights, but 4 are willing to leave it to the legislature to figure out how and 3 think that full marriage is part and parcel of due process (which is an interesting argument; equal protection of gays is apparently not at issue). It’s not a rousing victory, but I’ll take it.

  65. jimmyboyo says

    Yeah

    It is a plus for us, and yet it also is in such a way that I think that Rove’s puppets won’t be able to spin this in their favor all that much.

    ——————-
    (joke)

    “hi mom, meet my flying sphageti ufo mutual partner”

    as long as we have the actual rights call it purple pok-a-dotted hypos if you wan’t

  66. rudy says

    The Court identified two issues: (1)
    “[W]hether committed same-sex couples have a consitutional right to the benefits and privileges afforded to married heterosexual couples and, if so, (2) [W]hether they have a constitutional right to have their relationship recognized by the name marriage.”

    WE WON on the fundamental consitutional issue of ALL RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES. We lost on the issue that calling it a “marriage” is a constitutional right. This intelligently writted decision is tantamount to eating our cake and having it too (to use a legal term of art). The Court said to the legislature that it could call it anything it chose but it MUST provide ALL THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES. This seeming hair-splitting avoids the pitfall inherent in DOMA. The NJ legislators can still defend “marriage” but they cannot discriminate against same-sex couples.

  67. Zeke says

    Though I wholeheartedly agree with the dissenting opinion, I feel that the majority opinion serves us best.

    It will just be a matter of a short period of time before the nomenclature issue is resolved as well.

    For THAT I can wait.

    This is a great day for OUR community ladies and gentlemen (and those in between).

    I have a feeling that the wind just went out of the sails of Rove’s “October Surprise”!!!