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Ear to the Ground

New Jersey Backs Same-Sex Unions

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Posted on Oct 25, 2006

Hurrah for the Garden State, whose state Supreme Court ruled today that same-sex couples are entitled to “the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.”


N.Y. Times:

The State Supreme Court in New Jersey said today that same-sex couples are entitled to “the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.”

But the court, in its 4-3 ruling, said that whether that status should be called marriage, or something else, “is a matter left to the democratic process.”

The court’s eagerly awaited decision found that an arrangement akin to that in Vermont, which authorizes civil unions between same-sex couples but does not call them marriages, would satisfy the New Jersey constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

The court gave the legislature a six-month deadline to enact the necessary legislation to provide for same-sex unions with rights equal to those of married couples.

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By timlooney, November 3, 2006 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just wanted to day that I agree wholeheartedly with everything R.A. Earl said in post 33617. 

Gov’t needs to get out of the marriage business and leave that to the religious organizations.

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By C Quil, October 26, 2006 at 8:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not quite there yet, but a step in the right direction.

Anti-slavery took time too, but when it finally took hold, it happened very quickly.

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By R. A. Earl, October 25, 2006 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think “partnered with” is a term which implies a more egalitarian relationship than does “married to” which, to me, carries with it a nuance of subservience or ownership, especially as it applies to the “wife” in heterosexual unions.

I also think that many, if not most, heterosexuals have trouble dealing with the blurred roles that occur in a same-sex relationship. All most heteros know is heterosexuality… the man is the “husband” and the woman, the “wife.” Each term is LOADED with role expectations which vary with the culture and times. The fact that in many, if not most, same-sex relationships there are no such roles just “blows their hetero minds” and invalidates the relationship.

Gay and lesbian people weren’t born on another planet… they too have been conditioned to expect to play a role in a relationship based on their gender. When they discover their natures don’t allow them to fulfil the expected role most are as confused as the society around them. Since there’s no arguing against their same-sex feelings - i.e. males for males, females for females - any more than there’s no arguing heterosexual feelings/leanings/preferences, gays and lesbians must find some way to resolve the situation themselves - society sure hasn’t yet matured enough to help.

Some choose to commit suicide. Fortunately many more find a way to jettison their conditioning to make way for the creative construction of a unique same-sex relationship that suits the two people in question. If society can’t handle that, tough beans.

This is the long way around to state that I think if the more conservative thinkers (if that’s not an oxymoron) cannot find a way to accept that gays and lesbians can be partnered using the term “marriage,” then the term should be deemed a religious one ONLY, and have no legal standing or effect. In other words, NEITHER hetero nor homo “marriages” would be recognized as having legal force or effect.

For any two people to have legal standing as a couple, they must hold an official and valid certificate of “union” issued by civil authority. A “marriage” certificate would then be optional, issued ONLY by a religious or similar organization, and have NO MORE LEGAL STANDING than a certificate of baptism or confirmation.

Works for me.

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By Tim, October 25, 2006 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment
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I wonder how much longer same-sex couples will be denied these basic human rights in other states?

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