Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Trenton Times editorial board "Only a matter of time" before marriage equality legal in New Jersey


From the editorial board of the Trenton Times:

It’s only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legal in New Jersey.

If history is any guide, individual states are achingly slow in catching up with the individuals who have embraced their civil rights as the personal liberties guaranteed by the by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. It took nearly a century after the Civil War for Congress to pass a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Still, in this evolved age, when science holds that sexual identity is no more a choice than eye color or race, it’s hard to believe that laws forbidding the marriage of same-sex couples remain.

Gay and lesbian couples in New Jersey are not being treated equally under the law. As Times columnist George Amick wrote in his recent analysis, the court “ended any pretense that New Jersey’s law authorizing civil unions affords the equal rights and privileges to same-sex couples to which the New Jersey Supreme Court has said they’re entitled.” 

State legislators will have the opportunity to recognize those rights in a vote — promised by Democrats after the November election — attempting to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a measure legalizing same-sex marriage. To succeed, lawmakers will have to muster a super-majority of support. Advocates are busy lobbying about a dozen Republicans and reluctant Democrats to stand up for the majority of New Jerseyans who approve of same-sex marriages.

We hope their consciences recognize that liberty and justice for all must include allowing same-sex couples to marry.

A recent July Quinnipiac poll finds that 60 percent of New Jersey voters support marriage equality, while only 31 percent are opposed.

I should note that my husband, Michael, is from New Jersey. While we look forward to the day when marriage equality is legal everywhere, New Jersey is definitely on our "short list" of states we'd like to see pass this important legislation sooner than later.

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