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03/22/2010

So wait, NOM: Sometimes the elected legislature *does* represent the people?

by Jeremy Hooper

This quip from the National Organization For Marriage, regarding the latest court challenge against marriage inequality in the Garden State:

"'NOM urges the Christie Administration to provide a vigorous defense of marriage as being between one man and one woman. This is what New Jerseyans, and Americans, believe in and support and what the people’s representatives in New Jersey have voted to preserve. It’s a shame that special interest groups like Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal do not trust the people and are trying to impose their will on society through a handful of unelected judges. We will fight them every step of the way,' [Brian] Brown said."
National Organization for Marriage Pledges to Fight Against Gay Marriage Lawsuit in New Jersey [NOM]

The "people's representatives"? Well that's funny (read: insanely enraging), because when it comes to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, or any other legislative body that has approved marriage equality, NOM has told us that the legislature's decision was out-of-line, un-American, anti-family, radical, and most of all: against the will of "the people." Yet now, in New Jersey, when the Senate casts a vote that fails to deliver on the state Supreme Court's promise of full equality, the elected reps are all of a sudden on NOM's good guy list? Nu uh -- that's not gonna fly with us!

NOM can't have its myopic wedding cake and eat it too! Either the state legislature is a fitting representative of the people, or it's not. And if it is (which it is), then a legislative vote on marriage is a perfectly kosher thing! It was perfectly acceptable in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Hell, the vote was even acceptable in NY and NJ, even if the GOP-led outcomes were unprincipled and unfair. But of course in the instance of Maine, in particular, NOM didn't think the elected reps were right to cast the vote, which is why they stepped in and ripped to shreds the concepts of constitutional freedom and representative democracy (and the minority rights that must be protected under the same), and instead put the ultimate power in the hands of bare majority tyranny. What, is the Maine legislature less morally sanctified than the New Jersey Senate or something?

And again: In Jersey, the situation is even more compounded, because the legislature is duty-bound to act on a principled and fair Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed parity for same-sex couples. The legislature chose civil unions, and civil unions failed, which is why they should have felt nothing but a responsibility to act in accordance with the ruling and finally deliver on the promise of full equality. They should have felt almost embarrassed by their earlier choice of civil unions, and voted to bump up to full equality without hesitation. But that's not what the Senate did -- they let a demonstrably dissimilar civil unions system stand instead. And that short-sighted vote does not constitute the one and only time in recent memory that the elected representatives got it right on marriage, like NOM's cognitively dissonant assessment of these elected bodies might suggest. Instead, the New Jersey Senate's action is perhaps the MOST frustrating of all of the recent marriage votes (even if we support the legislature's ability to cast the short-sighted vote, on technical civic grounds)!

So now NOM is focused on decrying the courts, the supposed radical "enemy" in the state of New Jersey, all the while praying that the court system will come to their side in D.C., where they are doing battle against the -- wait for it, wait for it -- ELECTED CITY COUNCIL!

Ugh. My brain hurts.

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Your thoughts

NOM is in good company. Even the president does stuff like this.

When calling for a constitutional amendment to permanently strip gays of the right to marry, he said, "[a]n amendment to the constitution is necessary because activist courts have left our nation with no other choice." You know, activist courts, like the one that ruled in his favor in Bush v. Gore.

Posted by: DN | Mar 22, 2010 10:19:38 AM

So, NOM is NOT a special interest group?
Just checking...
They always sound like they think they are "special"

Posted by: Bob Miller | Mar 22, 2010 11:56:27 AM

NOM is whatever NOM says it is at whatever time that NOM says it. We are not to question NOM. We are to sit back and accept NOM as our leader.

All bow to the great and glorious NOM.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 22, 2010 12:01:18 PM

NOM (National Organization of Morons), is decidedly pathological, psychotic, and is run by delusional Roman Catholics who should be focusing on why their religion has so many child rapists, and why their Pope has been complicit in the rapes in Germany, instead of on what consensual adults do within legal boundaries.

Posted by: Mykelb | Mar 22, 2010 1:27:26 PM

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