Friday, February 17, 2012

NJ Gov. Christie Vetoes Marriage Equality Bill

Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has officially vetoed the marriage equality bill sent to him by the State Legislature yesterday.

According to the Associated Press:
In returning the bill to the Legislature, Christie reaffirmed his view that voters should decide whether to change the definition of marriage in New Jersey. His veto also proposed creating an ombudsman to oversee compliance with the state's civil union law, which same-sex couples have said is flawed and promotes discrimination.
"I am adhering to what I've said since this bill was first introduced — an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide," Christie said in a statement. "I continue to encourage the Legislature to trust the people of New Jersey and seek their input by allowing our citizens to vote on a question that represents a profoundly significant societal change. This is the only path to amend our State Constitution and the best way to resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in our state.
"I have been just as adamant that same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples — as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits," the statement continued. "Discrimination should not be tolerated and any complaint alleging a violation of a citizen's right should be investigated and, if appropriate, remedied. To that end, I include in my conditional veto the creation of a strong Ombudsman for Civil Unions to carry on New Jersey's strong tradition of tolerance and fairness."
LOL. I am amazed Christie thinks that in New Jersey he can get away with continuing to promote civil unions, especially when there is detailed documentation that the separate but equal status of providing "the same rights and benefits that married couples enjoy" simply does not work. If all we're fighting about here is the word "marriage," then how can that be a "profoundly significant change"?

The point is that even when states allow for marriage equality, same-sex couples are still not equal because there is still profound discrimination against us in federal law, thanks to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

But the point is that it is becoming completely insupportable to say "let them have all the rights and benefits" but "Just Don't Call It Marriage." Unsurprisingly, as a Republican, Christie is slow to understand or even recognize that the notion that marriage equality is now viewed as a civil rights issue, and a seismic shift in the public's understanding of the issue has happened in the last two-three years.

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