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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.

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Comments

  1. I think some of you guys are underestimating the sheep mentality of the bible-thumping wackos.

    Posted by: Je | Oct 24, 2006 7:45:31 PM


  2. 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.

    Posted by: Voxbear | Oct 24, 2006 7:58:49 PM


  3. 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.

    Posted by: stolidog | Oct 24, 2006 8:06:25 PM


  4. 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.

    Posted by: Frank | Oct 24, 2006 8:20:11 PM


  5. 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.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Oct 24, 2006 9:23:47 PM


  6. 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.

    Posted by: Ezra | Oct 24, 2006 9:26:20 PM


  7. 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."

    Posted by: David | Oct 24, 2006 9:41:39 PM


  8. 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.

    Posted by: Mark | Oct 25, 2006 12:09:35 AM


  9. 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.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 25, 2006 1:02:32 AM


  10. 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.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 25, 2006 1:17:45 AM


  11. 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.

    Posted by: Rmarks | Oct 25, 2006 3:31:19 AM


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    Posted by: nic | Oct 25, 2006 4:44:15 AM


  13. 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.

    Posted by: rudy | Oct 25, 2006 7:05:46 AM


  14. 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.

    Posted by: Kip | Oct 25, 2006 7:54:40 AM


  15. 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!

    Posted by: mark | Oct 25, 2006 8:14:44 AM


  16. 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?

    Posted by: Wayne | Oct 25, 2006 8:45:29 AM


  17. 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.

    Posted by: dc-20008 | Oct 25, 2006 9:10:55 AM


  18. 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

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 25, 2006 10:01:20 AM


  19. 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.

    Posted by: chrisnyc | Oct 25, 2006 10:02:24 AM


  20. LOL

    Sorry for the typos

    guess instead of Quess etc

    typonese, learn it

    :-)

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 25, 2006 10:06:21 AM


  21. "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.

    Posted by: DCCaniac | Oct 25, 2006 10:18:23 AM


  22. 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.

    Posted by: Stefan | Oct 25, 2006 10:25:39 AM


  23. 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.

    Posted by: chrisnyc | Oct 25, 2006 10:30:22 AM


  24. 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.

    Posted by: Derrick | Oct 25, 2006 10:32:19 AM


  25. 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.

    Posted by: rudy | Oct 25, 2006 10:58:28 AM


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