Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Marriage Equality

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Marriage Equality

Article excerpt

ON TUESDAY, three more states embraced marriage equality. It is time for New Jersey to be added to the list.

Voters in Maine, Washington and Maryland supported measures legalizing same-sex marriage. When the dust settles, nine states, plus the District of Columbia, will recognize same-sex marriage.

These victories are huge. Never before has same-sex marriage been approved by voters -- equality had been granted by courts or legislatures, but denied at the ballot box. Before last week, even supporters of marriage equality would not have publicly said they would be victorious in all three states. And in Minnesota, a measure that would limit marriage to heterosexual couples failed.

America's views on same-sex marriage have changed. In New Jersey, change has yet to arrive. The Legislature passed a marriage equality bill that was vetoed by Governor Christie. The governor has said he believes civil unions are working and if New Jerseyans want same- sex marriage, let them vote on it. No doubt, Christie will be able to trot out this excuse again, pointing to the successful same-sex marriage referendums as a sign that voters may endorse equality in New Jersey.

We understand that it is unlikely that a Republican governor with national aspirations would come out for marriage equality. We note Christie has been careful not to denigrate same-sex couples who want to be married. We have said this before, and we restate it now: Christie is not homophobic.

But civil rights are not dependent on majority approval. Gay and lesbian couples who want to be married in civil ceremonies should be allowed to do just that in New Jersey. A public referendum on the issue is an excuse by legislators who do not want to take a stand on what they know is the right thing to do.

Now, not later, is the time to override Christie's veto. …

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