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11/01/2006

Jersey lawmakers: Eh, our 2015 counterparts will handle that whole 'full equality' thing

by Jeremy Hooper

New Jersey's Home News Tribune quotes Senate President Richard J. Codey and Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr. as saying about gay marriage in the state:

CODEY: "If you look at the ways we've advanced in terms of rights for gays and lesbians, clearly the next step would be marriage"

ROBERTS: "At some point down the line there will be broader support for same-sex marriage, but I don't believe we are there yet"

So both are indicating that "civil unions" are the route the state Legislature is ultimately going to go with, as they debate how to implement the state Supreme Court's historic ruling. However, both acknowledge that same-sex marriage is going to be a reality at some point, they just think the Garden State's not yet ready. But wait a minute -- we've certainly seen poll data showing Jersey is actually quite prepared to give gays something old, new, borrowed, and blue:

Picture 1-34

And even if such encouraging polling data didn't exist -- when have history's heroes ever said of civil rights: "Oh, we'll get around to those someday, but rather than take a principled stand and unquestionably back what's right, we'll just take a pit stop at Almost-Equal Boulevard." You can't just tell one generation: "Oh, sorry you weren't born a few decades later!" We live in the here and now, and we need leaders who will help bring current society to that future place of acceptance, not who will just sit on their heels and wait for the masses to come around!

It's beyond frustrating!

The paper goes on to quote Codey as saying:

CODEY: "If you look at the history for domestic partnerships and the fact that we are probably going to do civil unions, the next step that would clarify everything would be marriage"

To which we respond to Mr. Codey:

G-A-Y: "When future generations look at the history of 2006/2007, will Richard Codey be remembered as someone who boldly stood for what what he seems to know in his heart is right, or will he be seen as someone who held back the wave of full marital acceptance, so as not to rock the boats west of the Hudson?"

Because if it's right it's right, gentlemen! It doesn't take the passing of a calendar to open people's minds; it takes honorable, ethical leaders who'll put rational thought out into the ether for public consumption!

State's leading lawmakers cite lack of public backing for gay marriage [Home News Tribune]

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