Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



New Jersey Marriage 'Purgatory'
by Bob Roehr

This article shared 3894 times since Wed Nov 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

The New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled Oct. 25 that gays and lesbians cannot be denied equal legal benefits associated with marriage under the state constitution.

However, a four person majority said it was up to the legislature to decide if that should be accomplished by expanding marriage to include gays or through other means such as civil unions. It gave the legislature 180 days in which to act. Three of the justices said gays should have been included under the umbrella of marriage.

'It's not heaven, it's not hell, it's purgatory,' said Steve Goldstein in an e-mail to members of Garden State Equality, the leading New Jersey LGBT organization, which he chairs. 'If we don't win the label 'marriage,' we will NOT have equal protection under the law.'

He reminded them of police Lt. Laurel Hester, whose dying request was for survivor's benefits for her lesbian partner, but who was turned down by elected officials. Goldstein said, 'Without the label of marriage, couples like Lt. Hester and her partner, and scores of others across New Jersey, have been told time and again, 'we don't care what the law says, you're not married.''

David Buckel is the director of the Marriage Project with Lambda Legal and argued the case before the court. He said, 'The bottom line is that the entire court said that there must be a remedy for the inequality that bars same-sex couples from marriage.' He urged the legislature to quickly pass a law allowing gays to marry.

Evan Wolfson, executive director of the national organization Freedom to Marry, called the decision 'a recognition of the equal needs and common humanity of committed same-sex couples and their kids.'

He rejected the idea that equality could be achieved through a separate but equal system of marriage and civil unions. 'I don't think there is an American in the country who would cash in their marriage in exchange for a civil union. Legislators have the opportunity 'to end discrimination in marriage, not repackage it … to end the exclusion from marriage itself with two simple words, 'I do.''

'The justices are not idiots, they know that elections are coming up' on state same-sex marriage ballot initiatives across the nation, said the doyen of gay political science, Ken Sherrill, a professor at Hunter University. 'Given the political climate in the country, I'm not surprised they felt this was as far as they could go.'

Gay pundit and long-time marriage advocate Andrew Sullivan was of a similar mind. He wrote on his blog, 'Moderation and patience are now what the gay movement needs, not absolutism. We're winning the argument, so why demand total victory now when reasonable people, uncomfortable with marriage, can give us so much so soon, short of marriage equality. Are we that impatient?'

The limited scope of the ruling has not stopped the far right from trying to spin it in apocalyptic terms.

'Nothing less than the future of the American family hangs in the balance if we allow one-man, one-woman marriage to be redefined out of existence,' thundered James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. 'And, make no mistake, that is precisely the outcome the New Jersey court is aiming for with this decision.

His minion at the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, railed against 'veiled judicial activism' that 'made the legislature their henchman by ordering the legislature to resolve whether it takes the form of same-sex marriage or civil unions.'

'Yesterday, in New Jersey, we had another activist court issue a ruling that raises doubts about the institution of marriage,' asserted President George W. Bush on the campaign trail for Republican candidates.

He reiterated his belief that 'marriage is a union between a man and a woman.' He added, 'I believe it's a sacred institution that is critical to the health of our society and the well-being of families, and it must be defended.'

Maggie Gallagher was no less concerned but more restrained and nuanced in her language. The president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy told the New York Times the decision was 'a temporary reprieve. The legislature could do civil unions, but the court has reserved the right to rule two or five years down the road that's not good enough.'

Despite the efforts by social conservatives to gin up the issue to motivate their supporters to get out the vote, it is difficult to assess how effective that might be. Polling has shown that the issue has lost some of its intensity when compared with other issues, over the last two years. More importantly, most of the tight congressional races are in districts where the religious right has limited influence.

Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, Garden State Equality ( GSE ) launched an aggressive campaign to influence the legislature to enact marriage legislation rather than an alternative. The day after the decision came down, a trio of legislators announced that they would introduce such a bill.

GSE also launched a commercial on local cable television featuring the dying Lt. Hester asking for support in the fight for equality. And it redoubled its grassroots lobbying and public education activities.

Democrats control both houses of the New Jersey legislature. Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine made clear his continued preference for civil unions, but the day after the decision came down, he said he would sign a marriage bill, if that is what the legislature passes.

GSE cites a recent poll showing that New Jersey voters favor marriage equaility by 56% to 39%. But the smart money is betting that the legislature takes the less politically risky route of enacting civil unions.

The GSE ad can be seen at their Web site .

This article shared 3894 times since Wed Nov 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

WORLD Japan politics, video games, lesbian tennis player, Mr. Gay World 2021-10-10
- LGBTQ+-rights activists were hoping Japan would finally allow same-sex marriage if Taro Kono, who has publicly supported same-sex marriage, became the country's next prime minister—but their hopes were dashed. Japan's ...

Gay News

"I can't be silent": Michael O'Connor discusses his longtime activism 2021-10-04
By Kayleigh Padar - Years ago, longtime activist Michael O'Connor heard that some Black legislators in Illinois didn't want to support the Marriage Equality Act because they didn't believe Black people would benefit from same-sex marriage. He decided to prove ...

Gay News

Liz Cheney: 'I was wrong' to oppose same-sex marriage 2021-09-27
- U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney said—in a segment of the CBS show 60 Minutes that aired Sept. 26—she was "wrong" to oppose same-sex marriage when her objection to it caused a public split with her family, including ...

Gay News

Nearly two-thirds of Swiss residents vote for marriage equality 2021-09-26
- Almost two-thirds of Switzerland's voters backed the government's plan to introduce same-sex marriage in a referendum held Sept. 26, with campaigners calling it a historic day for gay rights in Switzerland, Yahoo! News reported, citing AFP. ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Danica Roem, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' abortion appeal, Lambda Legal 2021-09-26
- Transgender Virginia legislator Danica Roem is facing a conservative marriage-equality opponent and former Trump administration member in her re-election race this November, Yahoo! News noted. Roem, a Democrat, was elected to the House of Delegates in ...

Gay News

WORLD Marches, world leaders, Swiss marriage, soccer match 2021-09-26
- Thousands of people including soldiers and diplomats marched peacefully through the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in an annual Pride parade despite some opposition to an event called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters ...

Gay News

[UPDATE] Lisle school offers job to lacrosse coach in same-sex marriage 2021-09-21
- The administration at Lisle’s Benet Academy, a west suburban Catholic school, has reversed course and offered a job to a woman in a same-sex marriage after initially rescinding the offer, The Chicago Tribune reported. ...

Gay News

Pope again refuses to bless same-sex marriages 2021-09-18
- Pope Francis told reporters recently on a return flight from Hungary that the Catholic Church is unable to bless same-sex marriages because marriage is a divine sacrament between a man and a woman, per The Advocate. ...

Gay News

Polis marriage marks first same-sex wedding of sitting governor 2021-09-17
- On Sept. 15, Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wed longtime partner Marlon Reis—marking the first same-sex marriage of a sitting U.S. governor, NPR reported. Polis keeps making history. In 2018, Polis became the first openly gay ...

Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate two Illinois marriage certificate modernization bills 2021-07-27
--From a press release - Trans and non-binary people who were married in Illinois will now be able to obtain marriage certificates that reflect their authentic selves thanks to legislation signed today by Governor JB Pritzker, according to Equality Illinois and ...

Gay News

WORLD Marriage in Chile, Polish website, Toronto news, 'Reclaim Pride' march 2021-07-25
- On July 21, Chile's Senate approved an equal-marriage bill, reported. The regulations were presented during the second government of the socialist Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018) and last June 1, during ...

Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate passage of Illinois marriage certificate name change legislation 2021-05-28
--From a press release - LGBTQ advocates are celebrating passage of state legislation that will provide certainty for individuals requesting that their Illinois marriage certificates reflect a legal name change. HB 2590 is an initiative of Equality Illinois and Chicago House ...

Gay News

LGBT-inclusive marriage-certificate act passes state General Assembly 2021-05-21
--From a press release - May 21. 2021 - In an effort to modernize marriage certificates in Illinois, state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz and state Rep. Ann Williams helped pass The Marriage Certificate Modernization Act through the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation ...

Gay News

Starting May 3, ceremonies in Cook County's downtown Marriage Court can be performed by Zoom 2021-04-30
- CHICAGO (April 30) — Marriage and civil union ceremonies at Cook County's downtown Marriage and Civil Union Court (Marriage Court) may be performed via Zoom videoconference, as well as in person, starting next week, according to ...

Gay News

Illinois Senate passes proposal removing gendered language from marriage certificates 2021-04-21
--From a press release - On April 21, on its third reading, the Illinois Senate passed (by a bipartisan vote of 44-13) a proposal that amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to allow the removal of gendered language ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.