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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gay Marriage Decision Coming

posted by on October 24 at 17:54 PM

The New Jersey Supreme Court hands down its gay marriage decision tomorrow—and if it goes our way, it could benefit the Republicans. But there hasn’t been a marriage decision that went our way in a long, long while. Honestly I’m not sure what to root for: a pro-gay marriage decision that benefits gay and lesbian couples in New Jersey and harms the Democrats nationally, or a anti-gay marriage decision that hurts gay and lesbian couples in New Jersey and allows Democrats to avoid having to take a potentially harmful stand on this issue so close to an election.

Sheesh—the torments of a passionate gay Dem.

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October Surprise?

Posted by Bree Daniels | October 24, 2006 6:02 PM

Ahh, root for what's better for the Dems. There are only, like, five gays in NJ, and none of us like each other as it is, anyway. Besides what's worse, no gay marriage for Jersyites now, or no gay marriage for anyone care of a Repub, recontrolled Congress rubbing off the right for an '08 win? Though it would add to Jersey's already impressive crown. Right up there with the strippers in AC it'd be.

Posted by Heath Renfroe | October 24, 2006 6:17 PM

So, while we're on the subject, whatever became of the call for the WA Supreme Court to revisit its decision to deny legalizing gay marriage?

Posted by Adam | October 24, 2006 6:31 PM

This kind of fence-sitting by Dan Savage underscores why we need gay activists inside both major political parties. Most gay activists are all too willing to put the interests of the Democratic party before the interests of gay people, when it suits their agenda. And the intellectual contortions they go through to rationalize selling out are pathetic and hypocritical. Kind of reminds you of closeted gay republican politicos, no?

Posted by Moser | October 24, 2006 7:09 PM

Moser, what you're failing to differentiate between is short term and long term gains for gays. In the short term, losing in New Jersey would be bad for gays. Dykes and fags wouldn't be able to shack up, my Canadian mariage wouldn't be recognized in Jersey, still, but we'd have the long term prospects of gains on a legislative level. This is an issue where we just can't win on a judicial level, and where winning on a judicial level wouldn't be a good thing anyway. We have to win on a legislative level or our victory will be seen as lacking legitimacy. I don't want gay marriage to be the next Roe v. Wade. Long term, getting more and more Dems in office on state and federal levels will benefit us. We'll win when a majority of legislators see it as politically advantageous to vote for gay marriage, and at most, that's a generation off. Yeah, yeah, it utterly sucks that I'll likely have grandkids before my relationship is recognized as legitimate throughout the entire country, but I expect it'll be at most a decade before it's recognized here in Washington. So, yeah, let's lose in New Jersey. We'll win in the long run.

Posted by Gitai | October 24, 2006 7:54 PM

Gitai: I actually agree that a judicial victory now for gays in one state could ultimately postpone freedom for gays nationwide. A legislative solution would be more stable. Better yet, build popular support and our leaders will follow. But go back and read the original post. Dan Savage's stated concern here isn't that a win in the courts would set back gays in the long run -- it's that it would set back the Democratic party. And no, the interests of gays and the Democratic party are not always perfectly aligned. That's why we need gay activists inside both major political parties. Preferably uncloseted ones :)

Posted by Moser | October 24, 2006 8:27 PM

There will never, ever be a "right" time for a win for the gay community. Each one is hard fought, and the laws of physics apply (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction), at least figuratively. We can no longer postpone the inevitable for better timing. The time is right god damn now.

Frankly, I think in the current political landscape, this will be seen by a very dissatisfied majority as the first in a series of rebellions against conservative oppression. What could hurt us worse than we've already been hurt?

Posted by SB | October 24, 2006 9:20 PM

This could be the October Surprise Karl Rove promised. A Gay Marriage win in NJ would be disaster for Dems: all the moderates who voted for (yet are currently dissatisfied with) the GOP are hearing Foley, Hastert, Iraq War, etc. on the news every night and they're feeling betrayed and vengeful--good for us! But if the NJ supreme court somehow decides to legalize gay marriage, the rallying cry will go out and all those soccer moms will forget Foley and worry about the "sanctity of marriage." How anyone of any conscience (or frankly consciousness) could vote republican at this point is mind boggling to me, but if there's one hot button issue the republicans love to trot out because it works for them, it's gay marriage.

Posted by the chimpanzee | October 24, 2006 10:04 PM

I'm just amazed there is still something called a 'passionate Dem' out there. What is it about the Democrats that inspires you, Dan? Hilary? Obama? Dean? What concrete things have they done for gay people in this administration, or the last one? Without comparing the Democrats to the Republicans, I see nothing appealing about the party.

Also, I think the impact of a 'pro-gay' decision might be overstated. Someone's really gonna change which Rep they vote for in Wyoming because Newark gays can marry?

Posted by Rottin' in Denmark | October 24, 2006 10:22 PM

No, it's not likely that some fundy in WY or elsewhere is going to change their vote based on a NJ court ruling.

There are, however, at least two pontential negative outcomes of a court decision in favor of gay marriage.

One, the fundy base that Rove & Co have courted, wined, dined,and boned skillfully will be re-energized. Right now, it appears that many of them are sitting on their heels and not feeling very motivated. This could energize just enough of them to get off thei duffs and vote to tip an election or three.

Second, more centrist voters, who are responding to the fiasco of the war and the ongoing scandals in DC, but who are not quite ready to switch aisles, might hesitate from voting Dem. on the 7th.

This is the kind of wedge issue that the Repugs love (just like they would love it if Roe v. Wade was never overturned. for them that would be a long as it's law they can run on it).

Posted by gnossos | October 24, 2006 10:42 PM

How could this be a loss for the Dems?

This is a chance to do a full ninja ricochet!

"Now Foley can concentrate on finding men his own age to cohabitate with in a proper monogamous relationship now in *another* state of this great country, instead of surreptitiously stalking young boys."

Well, it was a try.

Dems be damned, I hope the ruling goes in favor of gay marriage Wednesday. Perhaps this will force Democrats to grow some balls about the issue in short notice, otherwise they don't deserve to win, in my opinion. I'm sick and tired of trying to walk on the edge of being too polite to the prudes of this country. Fuck 'em.

2007-2008 is going to be one of the most politically hideous time periods no matter what the election results are anyway.

Posted by Matthew Fisher Wilder | October 25, 2006 1:12 AM

Given precedent, I don't think they approve it, even if it helps the GOP.

Posted by Gomez | October 25, 2006 7:49 AM

ok so 4 justices said marriage or civil unions, and 3 said marriage. that seems unanimous-ish.

Posted by blehpunk | October 25, 2006 12:19 PM

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