10/29/2006

The New Jersey Marriage Ruling

The results of the New Jersey marriage ruling left me with a mixed feeling. I wasn’t euphoric over it that’s for sure. Basically, the court said gay couples should be allotted all of the same rights, benefits, and privileges of marriage that heterosexuals have, but they’ve left it up to the legislature to come up with a term for it. The legislature within 180 days will have to decide to include us under the umbrella term “marriage” or create a separate line at the clerk’s office just for the homos.

The good:
•This will now give my partner and I four states to move to (MA, VT, and CT
being the others)
•It does say we should be given the same rights as heterosexuals
•The ruling never brought in the strawman issues of “marriage is for procreation,” “heterosexual marriages are best for children,” or “it’ll lead to men marrying their pet iguana.”

The bad:
•We still get 6 months of torture waiting to see if we will be considered equal citizens or second-class citizens (though without this, we were just NO class citizens)
•This ruling only works on the state level. In NJ there are approximately 65 marriage rights that we’ll be able to participate in. But what about the 1,100 federal rights we don’t get.
•Just don’t leave NJ. With state determined marriage rights, folks need to realize that the rules change from state to state. A couple can get “civil unioned” or “married” (or whatever they’ll call it) in NJ, but drive over to CT, have a wreck, and lose the right to make medical decisions for their spouse. This is the problem with piecemeal rights. Even if they call it marriage, it only applies to the rights of that state.

So many people assume this is automatic equality for us. As someone else said on another blog, this is equity, not equality. It won’t be equality until we are acknowledged by our federal government as legitimate and equal to our heterosexual peers.

That will be a long time coming for sure. The opposition doesn’t want us to be equal to them. Even many heterosexuals, who are nice to our face, hold an innate belief that we are inferior. They want us to go through incredible pains just to acquire what they get with a trip to the clerk’s office and a $20 fee.

Pam’s House Blend grabbed a quote from Victoria Cobb of the Family Foundation out of VA (note: lots of gay Virginians are leaving the state because of the homophobia there):

She said the goal isn't to drive gay people out. She said "extreme homosexual organizations" might be trying to frighten their members by circulating false information about the amendment. She said it wouldn't add new restrictions on gays but would simply underscore the ways their relationships are already restricted.

"I think it's extremely sad they would leave because of something they were never allowed to do anyway," said Cobb, who said she believed gays could go to court to defend themselves if a partner's family members challenged their right to own property in common, arrange powers of attorney or visit each other in the hospital.


Why the hell should we even have to!? WHY?! Someone answer that for me. There’s no other answer but that these hateful people want to make our lives unbearably hard and in turn establish their superiority over another group.

YOU CAN’T AMEND LOVE!

Being hateful won’t make us stop being gay and it won’t keep us from being together and building lives and families together. Since the beginning of time, we have held our relationships together without the benefit and privilege of social acceptance or a piece of .50 cent paper. We’re stronger than any law you can ever come up with. We were here yesterday, we’re here today, and we will continue to be here tomorrow, no matter what you say or do.

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