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01/18/2010

When life gives you lemons, take those lemons to court and make them gold rings

by Jeremy Hooper

The New Jersey Senate's anti-equality vote really stunk. Like in a terribly odiferous way. Even worse than the we imagine the "Jersey Shore" house smelled, what with its combination of Snookie's pickles, copious amounts of suntan lotion, and enough hair product to give the entire eastern seaboard a crisp up-do.

But there's a growing chorus of voices finding the silver lining in the whole mess. This from Trenton columnist George Amick:

Two weeks ago, the New Jersey Senate defeated a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Now the bill's backers are readying Plan B. They will try to persuade the New Jersey Supreme Court to rule that gay couples have the same right to marry as couples who are straight.

They believe they have a powerful case to make before the court -- and that opponents of marriage equality, in what one advocate privately calls "a stunning legal blunder," have helped strengthen it.
...
"Their argument should have been that civil unions are working, and that there have been only a relatively few complaints," one said. "Instead, they walked right into a trap."

The "trap" is the fact that the civil-union law demonstrably can't be revised to ensure equality, said Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality and leader of the long lobbying campaign for same-sex marriage. His organization and Lambda Legal, which will provide the lawyers, will tell the high court -- where five of the seven justices who decided the Lewis case still sit -- that only marriage can provide the protections that opposite-sex couples enjoy without question.

FULL PIECE: 'Plan B' may be gay-rights winner [Times of Trenton -- NJ.com]

So in New York, we put our lawmakers on record so that we'd know who to challenge at the polls with a pro-fairness voice. In NJ, we got our lawmakers on record to admit that civil unions are a failure, knowing that there is no logical way anyone can "strengthen" the separate and unequal system except by bumping them up to full marriage. And in both cases: The unrefined arguments for bias might just help us run our inevitable victory lap even more than the principled voices of support!

Be sure to send your thank you cards:

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