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From dirt will spring a new Garden

by Jeremy Hooper

New-JerseyThis from Star-Ledger columnist Tom Moran:

The political stars, for a few brief months, sit in alignment for a move to legalize gay marriage in New Jersey.

And we could do it the right way — not with a court order, not with a gun to our head, but through a political process that expresses our common beliefs. We could do it later this month.

Or we could choose the other option, and punt. We could continue to insult the dignity of thousands of gay couples who live openly among us, often with children, and typically in harmony with the neighbors who know them best. We could tell them to wait, to accept their second-class status for a few more years.
**KEEP READING: New Jersey has brief chance to pass marriage equality legislation [Star-Ledger]

Pro-equality Corzine is out, anti-equality Chris Christie is in. Before the former exits, it's time he and the state legislature pack up and ship out the unlevel playing field that they should have dismantled long ago. The New Jersey Supreme Court said equality, and the state legislature's civil unions choice failed to deliver on that.

Remedying the disparate situation is not sneak, underhanded, unfair, or any of the myriad of other labels that the National Organization For Marriage (who are largely NJ based, by the way) are planning to place upon it. It is the only fair choice for a fair-minded state.

*RELATED: New Garden State Equality vids:

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Your thoughts

My fear is that if this does happen, with our newly elected conservative governor vowing to fight for an amendment that we could be seeing Maine all over again a year or two from now. Despite what polls say an amendment would likely pass in NJ once the NOM and religious groups start spreading their fear and lies. unfortunately right now their strategy just works better than ours as awful as that may be

Posted by: Ron | Nov 5, 2009 11:55:54 AM

If it passes is it likely to hold in New Jersey or there a people's veto like Maine or constitution by mob rule like California?

Posted by: Ken | Nov 5, 2009 12:16:55 PM

Ken: New Jersey doesn't have a direct ballot initiative/referendum process like Maine or California. It would have to pass the legislature, which would take much shakeup before that would ever happen.

Here's a rundown of what state has what:

Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 5, 2009 12:20:59 PM

I'm not really sure how the law works here. if its like Iowa where it would take years to get an amendment on the ballot or if you can round up signatures and get it on the ballot within a year. Thats why I'm weary of having it passed if it could be overturned and possibly take civil unions away too. Generally speaking theres been little uproar in the 2 1/2 years since civil unions were enacted and any attempt at an amendment back in 2004 failed to gain any traction due to democrats having an overwhelming majority in the house/assembly. But all of those things happened with a Democratic governor and Christie is the most socially conservative governor we've probably ever had.

Posted by: Ron | Nov 5, 2009 12:23:38 PM

Ron, that's my worry, too. My first thought was "Noooooo!!!!" It's very depressing having to fight to hold on to one's little bit year after year. I know progress doesn't happen without a fight, though, and I think the end result is worth the attempt.

Thanks for the explanation and link, Jeremy.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Nov 6, 2009 9:05:38 AM

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