News Exhume Vito: New Jersey’s Gay Mobsters Can Get, Uh, Something Or Other
posted by October 25 at 12:50 PMon
Well, not married—unless the legislature allows it. They court is giving them six months to act. They have to extend marriage rights or create some sort of parallel institution.
The New Jersey Supreme Court just ruled in the marriage case. The majority ruled that all the legal protections of marriage must be given to same-sex couples. The legislature is given 180 days either to amend the marriage statutes or to create some other system to give same-sex couples the same legal rights under state law that heterosexuals have (as Vermont, Connecticut and California do). Three of the seven judges would have ruled that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry outright. There were no dissents.
Here’s the decision.
Overheard in the office: “K-boom, there go the Ds chances. This is exactly what they need to rally their Christian base.”
John at Americablog makes a great point: The New Jersey Supreme Court has backed George W. Bush’s stated position on this issue. From Americablog :
George Bush came out in support of gay civil unions before the 2004 election. He believes gay couples should get the benefits of marriage, but not marriage itself. The New Jersey Sup Ct just ruled the same. The rules specifically says NO to gay marriage, but YES to providing some kind of benefits to gay couples. That is George Bush’s position as enunciated prior to the 2004 elections.
The ruling states…
Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this State, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our State Constitution…. We will not presume that a separate statutory scheme, which uses a title other than marriage, contravenes equal protection principles, so long as the rights and benefits of civil marriage are made equally available to same-sex couples. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to same-sex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.
Here’s George W. Bush in 2004:
President Bush said in an interview this past weekend that he disagreed with the Republican Party platform opposing civil unions of same-sex couples and that the matter should be left up to the states.
Mr. Bush has previously said that states should be permitted to allow same-sex unions, even though White House officials have said he would not have endorsed such unions as governor of Texas. But Mr. Bush has never before made a point of so publicly disagreeing with his party’s official position on the issue…. Mr. Bush said, “I don’t think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that’s what a state chooses to do so.”
“I view the definition of marriage different from legal arrangements that enable people to have rights. And I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between a union between a man and a woman. Now, having said that, states ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others.”
John’s right: Those liberal justices in New Jersey—surely to be condemned for their activism by the right—have merely taken the same position that their Dear Leader, George W. Bush, took in 2004: marriage is not a right, but civil unions should be made available to same-sex couples, so that we may “have rights like others.”
The money shot, courtesy of Rex Wockner:
Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed same-sex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to same-sex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.—The New Jersey Supreme Court, Oct. 25.
Originally posted at 12:25 PM.