Cardinale's Rant

The Record (Bergen County, NJ), July 28, 2013 | Go to article overview

Cardinale's Rant


STATE SEN. Gerald Cardinale, R-Demarest, has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage for years. He has a right to his opinion, but as an elected official, he does not have the right to denigrate and trivialize gay couples seeking the right to legally marry in New Jersey.

"Should we extend the definition of marriage to someone who loves a pet or someone who loves three people?" he asked in response to a rally held last week in Asbury Park by marriage-equality advocates hoping to sway Republican legislators to break ranks with Governor Christie, who has vetoed a marriage equality bill.

Gay-rights advocates' hopes have been buoyed by the emergence of Paul Singer, the wealthy founder of the conservative research group Manhattan Institute, who is a strong supporter of same-sex marriage.

Singer has a gay son and Singer's influence has helped other states pass marriage-equality laws, particularly New York. While his presence is notable, it may not be a game changer here. The marriage fight in New Jersey is different than the one waged in New York. For starters, in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was a driving force for legalizing same-sex marriage. He put his political muscle behind the effort.

In New Jersey, Christie's considerable influence is directed the other way. While the governor claims that it is insulting to suggest Republican legislators do not cast votes he opposes, the evidence proves the contrary true. If Christie were to publicly state that the Republican caucus should vote its conscience on this issue, same- sex marriage might be legalized. But even that outcome is not a given.

Look at Cardinale. Certainly, the senator is not saying anything new for him when he repeats his belief that same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy or to individuals marrying their pets. …

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