Friday, October 27, 2006

Right decision, wrong time.

The New Jersey Supreme Court made the right decision at the wrong time. I wish they had waited until after the election because the Republicans will distort, lie, twist and exaggerate the ruling the court made. To be honest and a Republican, these days, is a contradiction in terms.

Basically the Court said that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as straight couples. It did not mandate gay marriage or any particular form of granting these rights. It said that was a “matter left to the democratic process.” By which they mean the legislative process not the democratic one. But I won’t haggle over that imprecise wording.

What they most emphatically did not do was mandate gay marriage. But the American Taliban will go to the voters and lie through their eye teeth about that. They will claim that court, that activist judges (meaning judges who rule in ways they don’t like only) mandated gay marriage. The unhinged religious nuts in the fundamentalist movement are not the types who understand nuances. To them something is either marriage or it isn’t. To grant gay couples equal rights is to them, special rights, because in their world gays deserve less rights. For them making gays equal is making them special since they don’t believe they have a right to be equal.

The Court was adamant that they did not “consider whether committed same-sex couples should be allowed to marry”. But the Republicans need an issue to terrorize the Bible-belt bumpkins and this is about all they have. They have tried to scare us with bin Laden, a man they have made no serious attempt to capture, and they are still losing. All they want to do now is terrorize the fundamentalists into voting.

The Court most explicitly said they “cannot find the right to same-sex marriage is a fundamental right under our constitution”. That is not how the ruling will be sold to the public by the theocrats. Now I disagree. They have the Constitution backwards. The issue is not whether a right is listed in the constitution or not. The real issue is whether the power to limit that right is given to government or not.

Seven gay couples were the litigants in this case. Five of the couples have reared children. The minimum time together for them has been 14 years and the longest term couple were together 35 years. Thirty-five years of commitment and love don’t count apparently. Yet Britney Spears can get drunk, get married on a lark. Absurd.

As long as government is in the business of creating legal coupled relationships then it should not discriminate against a couple simple on the basis of gender any more than it had the right to discriminate on the basis of race.

Apologies: I tried to post this yesterday only to find the site down again. And when I tried to post it again one day later I got another message that they are “down” for maintenance. I often have been unimpressed with Frequently it can take more than an hour to post a message because the system simply is not working.