Gay Marriage Decision

The gay marriage decision is out:

New Jersey’s highest court ruled on Wednesday that gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and financial benefits as heterosexual couples, but split over whether their unions must be called marriage or could be known by another name, handing that question to the Legislature.

In a decision filled with bold and sweeping pronouncements about equality, the New Jersey Supreme Court gave the Democratic-controlled Legislature 180 days to either expand existing laws or come up with new ones to provide gay couples benefits including tuition assistance, survivors’ benefits under workers’ compensation laws and spousal privilege in criminal trials.

You can go to Memeorandum and track the collective freak-out on the right yourself. I am tired of reading the GOP mouthpieces, to be honest, so I am gonna spare myself the hysterical proclamations that this will be the end of western society and that this is just what happened to Rome, I am not gonna pay any attention to the right-wing hopes and left-wing fears that this will impact the election, and I am gonna pay no attention to the bleats about activist judges (because let’s face it, the Republicans don’t care about activist judges, in fact they like them- when they rule the way they want them to rule). I will state right now, though, that the unofficial Balloon Juice stand is that the angrier the loudmouths on the right are about this decision, the better.

My impression of the ruling- the court found the state can’t treat homosexual couples any different that heterosexual couples in regards to benefits, but as long as you treat people the same, you don’t have to call it “homosexual marriage.” So, in fact traditional marriage is still safe, and the state will no longer discriminate against couples who love each other (and, fortunately, given the state of marriage with many Republican leaders, couples who no longer love each other). This seems to be pretty much in line with Bush’s stance, as well as McCain’s, as well as most of the GOP save the ” family values” (*cough*) wing. I, in fact, thing it is a fine way to go about things.

As always, my interpretation of legal rulings is always suspect, so I may be wrong. At any rate, I can’t tell for sure since I refuse to check, but I am willing to bet that James Dobson and Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and Red State and the Corner and Dan Riehl are furious. They’ll just have to stay mad and try to pretend that their marriage has been somehow cheapened- well, not Rush. He manages to cheapen his marriages simply through the sheer volume of them.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit






38 replies
  1. 1
    Andrew says:

    Thanks, New Jersey. Now my three boyfriends will be all sorts of, “You gots to marry me! Alfonso is such dirty slut.” And I prefer to have my recreational abortions out-of-wedlock.

  2. 2
    Cassidy says:

    Damn, my marriage is gonna end tommorrow.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    This just goes to show that the NJ Supreme Court hates Jesus. Thank god for the Military Commissions Act or these closet libera-nistas would be off pardoning Osama bin Laden before we’ve even caught him.

  4. 4
    zzyzx says:

    I wish they had waited three more weeks but obviously I support this decision. If only this could have the reaction of “Of course, people can make a decision to commit to someone that they love,” but that’s asking for way too much.

  5. 5
    jaime says:

    Gay Marriage or not, if a Republican’s wife has cancer, she will be cheated on and divorced.

  6. 6
    r€nato says:

    How dare you mock such upright paragons of Republican virtue as Newt “3 marriages” Gingrich and Rush “3 marriages” Limbaugh! How else to show your support for the institution of one man and one woman, than by getting married as many times as possible?

  7. 7
    chdb says:

    I, in fact, think it is a fine way to go about things.

    I can’t agree.

    The reason it’s important to call gay unions “marriages” is the same reason it’s important to call interracial unions “marriages.” It’s all about the politics of exclusion; the more ways you have to say “look, this is different”, the easier it is to continue to promote bigotry.

    Imagine if you were growing up gay, and looking at wedding magazines. “Marriages” are those things straight people get to have. You get a “civil union.” Sound a little depressing? Guess what – it is.

    It’s very back-of-the-bus, in a way.

  8. 8
    r€nato says:

    I say call them all “civil unions” when it involves getting a license from the state, and call it a ‘marriage’ when you do it in a church.

  9. 9
    scs says:

    Just out of curiousity – could a brother marry a sister, or a mother and a daughter in these new rules? If they are just civil unions- why not?

  10. 10
    MMM says:

    I know why you wrote this JC, you C#$%S@^%&*$!

  11. 11
    Mr Furious says:

    Equality but don’t call it “marriage” if you don’t want… hmmm, where have I heard THAT before?

    [paraphrasing] “I think all Americans ought to have equal rights under the law and it’s the state’s responsibility to make sure that’s the case. Whether that’s called marriage or not is up to the individual state. In Vermont they are “civil unions” granting those couples every right (and penalty) of married couples, but it’s up to the couple or the church to deem it marriage. The state should not be in the marriage business.” — Howard Dean

    Or something to that effect. Too bad that guy’s “so crazy,” because he’s right all the damn time.

    SIDEBAR: Dean’s look back at all the fuss, and what DIDN’T happen in Vermont.

  12. 12
    ThymeZone says:

    Just out of curiousity – could a brother marry a sister

    Yes, you have our blessing to marry your brother.

  13. 13
    Andrew says:

    Yes, you have our blessing to marry your brother.

    Or sister, but only in Massachusetts, NJ, and Vermont.

  14. 14
    cd6 says:

    This is totally off topic, so forgiveness please

    BUT

    I have to say it.

    The right wing blogs have been using the “dems are worse” and they say the main reasons you shouldn’t want to vote Dem is that they’ll raise taxes and increase spending and try to pull us out of the war, etc etc. None of those are really convincing arguments.

    Here’s my reply.

    Here’s why you shouldn’t support the right wing: they make blog comments like this.

    This isn’t even a situation where you have to go to LGF or Freeperland to cherry pick the crazy fucking off the wall comments, its ALL of them.

    These are some sick, sick people.

  15. 15
    Blorf says:

    Yes, so where does a white man go to meet a fine Sista?

  16. 16
    jcricket says:

    BTW, don’t forget that Newt divorced one of his wives while she was getting cancer treatment (via the phone, I think) and that Rush’s marriages and divorces are a result of multiple overlapping affairs. But yes, gay marriage will destroy us all, starting with Red Staters (the best and the brightest America has to offer).

    My favorite comment from the Red State thread, that perfectly illustrates everything wrong with the Republican party:

    We support adult stem cell research because, in part, it has more promise for curing this suffering.

    So, partisan politicians and blog commentators are the official “deciders” on what basic science has more promise for disease cures, not scientists. This is how the Republicans ruin the FDA, EPA, NASA, etc.

    I know, pulling a single comment and tarring a whole party isn’t a fair tactic, but I really think it’s a good example of something wrong deep within the Republican party (unlike the occasional KKK-ish comment). It’s indicative of just how little respect Republicans have for any decision not made from a Republican partisan standpoint. Again, how can you have a reasonable debate with people like that?

    The callousness of the right wing towards MJF (not the issue, but the man himself) and their inability to see that shows everything that’s wrong with Republicans (as represented by Limbaugh + Red State, at least).

    I read somewhere today that reality must have a liberal bias because it sure ain’t lining up with what Republicans are saying.

  17. 17
    CaseyL says:

    I wouldn’t mind a bifurcation between “civil unions” and “marriage,” with the former being a social/legal/financial contract and the latter being a religious/spiritual ceremony – for everyone, though, not just for same-sex couples.

    It makes a lot of sense to do that, since marriage and parenthood in the Western world are as much, if not more, social/legal/financial constructs than spiritual ones anyway. It would be non-discriminatory, if it applied to everyone. The civil ceremony could be as elaborate as any wedding, could be combined with a religious ceremony, or a couple could do both – whatever they wanted.

    I just don’t understand the opposition to same-sex marriage, or how anyone who isn’t a religious nut can take the opposition seriously. The arguments against it are identical to the arguments that used to be made against mixed-race marriage, and are just as (il)legitimate.

    “God says so” and “The Bible says so” are not reasons. For one thing, the BIble doesn’t “say so”; it doesn’t prescribe a specific marriage model. Au contraire: it’s rife with harems, concubines, mistresses, and wierd stuff like requiring a widow to marry her brother-in-law (which, oddly enough, I don’t see the fundies insisting we should do). Appeals to religious fiat are explanations that don’t explain anything.

    For another, America is supposed to be a secular society. I know the very idea of secularism is under attack and in retreat, but that doesn’t change what the normative setting is supposed to be. We should be pursuing utilitarian policies: policies that allow the greatest good for the greatest number, and which can be explained and justified rationally.

  18. 18
    Decided FenceSitter says:

    Cackles in the best tradition of an evil overlord as his plans for corruption of America’s souls by allowing this sort of moral degradation to take place come to fruition.

    There are times I like being on the lower end of a slippery slope.

    My favorite part, it is a split decision. 4 for Marriage or Civil Union, and 3 for Marriage.

  19. 19
    zzyzx says:

    Even if a brother could marry a sister, they’d still have to get divorced if they met their true love of their life and that’s never a fun process.

  20. 20
    Tulkinghorn says:

    Andrew Says:

    Thanks, New Jersey. Now my three boyfriends will be all sorts of, “You gots to marry me! Alfonso is such dirty slut.” And I prefer to have my recreational abortions out-of-wedlock.

    What an idea! If we can arrange for a sames-sex abortion decision we might be able to give half of Texas and South Carolina a stroke. While they are recuperating in hospital the Dems can sweep.

  21. 21
    Tulkinghorn says:

    scs Says:

    Just out of curiousity – could a brother marry a sister, or a mother and a daughter in these new rules? If they are just civil unions- why not?

    providing that the union is non-sexual (and there is no reason they can’t be) why not?

    There is a legitimate policy issue hiding behind your calumny, in that the current tax and benefits system leaves siblings unable to provide benefits for one another. Very anti-family, that. Children used to be raised by spinster aunts when their mothers died, without having to be separated from their fathers. That is pretty much impossible now.

  22. 22
    Tulkinghorn says:

    Or sister, but only in Massachusetts, NJ, and Vermont.

    Not Massachusetts. There is no legal structure known as civil union in Massachusetts. You are married or nothing.

    FWIW, Rhode Island lets you marry a first cousin, for interesting reasons I won’t go into here.

  23. 23
    Zifnab says:

    SCS, let’s be honest. That’s not what you really want to ask. What you really want to ask is whether you can marry your pet cocker spaniel. And the answer is no. But if you’re in the right southern states, you can still have sex with it.

  24. 24
    Should be Working says:

    I remember clearly when gay marriage was legalized Massachusetts, I was living in Cambridge at the time. The most amazing thing happened — ABSOLUTELY NOTHING… I get the sense that most people here (in MA) have realized that this is not the end of civilization. Well, not our current govenor, but most other people.

  25. 25
    Pixie says:

    scs Says:

    Just out of curiousity – could a brother marry a sister, or a mother and a daughter in these new rules? If they are just civil unions- why not?

    We beat you to it SCS. Move down to TN, we have no problem with you marrying your brother! As we like to say down here — Nothin’ spells lovin’ like marrying your cousin!

  26. 26
    Andrew says:

    Maybe scs could marry Dan Riehl’s dead, gay brother and save him from sin.

  27. 27
    Punchy says:

    but I am willing to bet that James Dobson and Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and Red State and the Corner and Dan Riehl are furious.

    Dobson is apoplectic, Rush’s 3 or 4 marriages make him an expert in matrimony, Coulter’s never BEEN married (and probably never even seen the business end of a monkey-shocker), Red State…who cares…and since Riehl had a gay brother, I can only assume he’s supporting this decision.

    Because if he didn’t, despite a gay brother, it may leapfrog him over Cheney as being the most dispicable human being on the planet.

  28. 28
    ImJohnGalt says:

    We’ll need to come up with an evocative, snappy term for people who have joined together in civil union however. I don’t want to have to say I’m “civil unioned” to my partner when they force me to marry another guy.

  29. 29
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Coulter’s never BEEN married (and probably never even seen the business end of a monkey-shocker)

    Are you kidding? She sees one everytime she pees.

  30. 30
    Tim F. says:

    Since most states have laws prohibiting the marriage of blood relatives, Equal Protection concerns pretty much dictate that civil union laws will have the same caveat.

    But hey scs, if you’re really determined to do it then I suggest that you consult a lawyer. I’m sure that you can work something out.

  31. 31

    […] The New Jersey Supreme Court decision has been splashed across the blogosphere sine yesterday evening.  Of course, there have been differing opinions and thoughts concerning its outcome.  Captain Ed thinks this decision is judicial activism no doubt. He thinks that the court is basically telling the legislature to enact laws that the court itself cannot inact, but will not stand in the way if equal rights law concerning marriage law comes their way.  The reaction on the right certainly outweighs the rumblings on the left. […]

  32. 32
    Sojourner says:

    Just out of curiousity – could a brother marry a sister, or a mother and a daughter in these new rules?

    Straight people can’t marry close relatives so gays shouldn’t be able to either. No special rights for gays.

  33. 33
    Krista says:

    We’ll need to come up with an evocative, snappy term for people who have joined together in civil union however. I don’t want to have to say I’m “civil unioned” to my partner when they force me to marry another guy.

    Feck it, just say you’re married anyway. My bf and I are common-law married, as we’ve been living together for over a year. Sometimes I refer to him as my bf, sometimes my spouse. There’s a great term in French for one’s common-law partner…”cojoint“. I wish there was an English equivalent, because “boyfriend” sounds juvenile, “partner” sounds like we’re either in business together or gay, “husband” is not really accurate, and “lover” is just icky.

  34. 34
    Tulkinghorn says:

    The proper term for a common-law husband is ‘husband’.

    Most US jurisdictions abolished common-law marriage some time ago, so in the states the term ‘common law husband/wife’ means cohabitant/boyfriend/girlfriend/paramour/concubine, but anything but husband or wife.

    Are you in Quebec? Without any common law, there must be something under civil law…

  35. 35
    Aaron says:

    If the Republicans were really serious about the sanctity of marriage, then they would push for common law marriage after living together for 2 years.

  36. 36
    scs says:

    Since most states have laws prohibiting the marriage of blood relatives, Equal Protection concerns pretty much dictate that civil union laws will have the same caveat.

    Well that rule wouldn’t make sense anymore. That rule was to prevent inbreeding. If two gay people “marry”, then they couldn’t have children, the rule is outdated. Equal rights for relatives, you old fashioned closeminded people!

    I brought this up not because I am personally interested, but because this is a WV inspired blog after all!

  37. 37
    Urinated State of America says:

    ” I am gonna spare myself the hysterical proclamations that this will be the end of western society and that this is just what happened to Rome”

    Why does this meme about Rome keep coming up? I mean, Rome was at its zenith when Catullus was writing poetry about antics at the bathhouses. I’ve seen translations of Catullus in the 1950s where about 25% of the text was left out.

    However, after the Empire turned Christian things really went to shit.

  38. 38
    Fitz says:

    The Cultural Left & Marriage
    They can agree for any allowance they want to try and win what you want. Problem is the cultural left has a pedigree. They think marriage is archaic and patriarchal.
    When Senator Daniel Patrick Monihan published his famous “Report on the Negro family” the cultural left called him a bigot.
    When Dan Qualye eschewed Murphy Brown for making single Motherhood “just another lifestyle choice” the cultural left called him a bigot.
    The MSM is replete with articles from the NYT and other sources of the cultural left about single women and men “choosing” to raise youngsters on their own. No moral condemnation is made or even suggested.
    Illegitimacy is not a problem in New Delhi,. The correlation with a declining marriage culture is not income, couples live on a bowl of rice and stay together.
    I’m afraid the illegitimacy rate is still 70% among the underclass. The lesbian couple next door implicitly states that marriage is androgynized and Fathers are not important.
    If the cultural left has embraced monogamy and repented from their sexual revolution its news to me. My law school “family” law department was made up of two lesbian strident feminists and a polymorist. None of them asserted anything except all family forms are inherently equal, and the traditional family is archaic and patriarchal.
    The important thing is not the answer to the question, but who writes the question. Your happy to know that your having your debate on your terms. The capacity of the public for sustained debate on any topic is limited. It’s a precious commodity. Your activists and activist judges have succeeded in pressing this issue. No matter what happens you move your ball down your court.
    How do we provide a child with his natural mother and father living together under the same roof? Or.. What is the social utility of traditional morality? Or.. How has the feminist project undermined and alienated relations between the sexes? Or…What accounts for the disintegration of married intact families since the 1960’s? Or… How do we best alleviate and rebuild this broken structure? Or, what accounts for the decline in marriage and increase in cohabitation in Scandinavian countries that have adopted same-sex “marriage”? Or… How can we hope to build a marriage culture around a androgynized definition that separates a Childs natural parent from any necessary connection to his or her child? Or… why is the cultural left suddenly conceding the importance of the family unit when it has spent years calling it archaic a patriarchal? Where were these same people during the divorce revolution? Where were they when Senator Moynihan issued his report on black family disintegration? Could this sudden concession on the importance of marriage and monogamy be a momentary faint in a well documented history of considering all family forms as being inherently equal?
    I disagree. I say that allowing SSA couples to marry will do irreparable harm to the institution of marriage by showing that marriage is outdated, any family form is adequate; a Childs own Mother & Father are not inherently necessary to that Childs future and proper upbringing and either sex is ultimately irrelevant to the institution.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] The New Jersey Supreme Court decision has been splashed across the blogosphere sine yesterday evening.  Of course, there have been differing opinions and thoughts concerning its outcome.  Captain Ed thinks this decision is judicial activism no doubt. He thinks that the court is basically telling the legislature to enact laws that the court itself cannot inact, but will not stand in the way if equal rights law concerning marriage law comes their way.  The reaction on the right certainly outweighs the rumblings on the left. […]

Comments are closed.