Thursday, December 21, 2006

I do?

Civil unions for gay couples became law in New Jersey today after Governor Jon S. Corzine signed a bill creating such unions into law at about 11:00a.m. The new law is a result of an October New Jersey Supreme Court decision in which the court mandated that the legislature either create civil unions (which would have to be identical in rights and responsibilities as marriage) or allow gays to marry. The Legislature (and the Governor) took the easier of the two roads and created civil unions.

I won't speak for The Kettle on this one, but I think this is a good outcome. For me its always been about getting the rights. Being equal. The name -- domestic partnership, civil union, marriage -- didn't really matter to me (despite my disdain for anything "separate but equal"). This bill (now law) does that. Gay couples who choose to become civil-unionized will have the same rights and responsibilities (under state law) as heterosexual couples who get married. Its equality, with a different name.

My one issue with what transpired today is the quote I saw from the Governor. He said, in speaking about the bill: "We join the ranks of the leaders in the nation in reflecting equal rights for everyone." He is correct. We do. But it only happened because the Supreme Court forced it. Corzine is opposed to gay marriage (although also opposed to a constitutional amendment banning it). He didn't campaign on the issue of equal rights for gays and he never promised to push for them. If it weren't for the court's decision, this bill would never have seen the light of day and Corzine wouldn't be championing New Jersey as being on the forefront of equal rights.

Anyway, don't rush out to get your civil union license just yet. Although the bill was signed into law today, it doesn't go into effect until February 19, 2007.

The real question is....How will China react? They are only allowing married couples to adopt now. Will they recognize civil unions or are we all now going to Eastern Europe for our little tykes.
Separate is never equal.

Two men or two women are no more "equal" to one man and one woman than two apples are "equal" to one apple and one orange. Two left shoes are both "shoes", and they are "a pair", but they can never equal "a pair of shoes" now can they? Why? Because separate is NEVER equal.
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