Tuesday, 26 March 2013

ARTICLE: Who Should Vote on Gay Marriage in New Jersey

That's right. I'm back in the hospital. How can you tell? When I'm reading the newspaper. It's the only time I ever see one. The volleys (volunteers) go around distributing them to patients if they'd like one. It's the local paper, the Daily Record, which covers Morris County (that's fine, it's the county I live in as well as get well in), and sometimes it is good to see local news.

And sometimes not...

When I saw the title of the article, "Who Should Vote on Gay Marriage in New Jersey", my first and immediate thought was only those who support it should vote on it so that it will sail right through! Wouldn't that be awesome ("awesome" being defined as "something that leaves you in awe and wonder")?! Ha to the hard-asses who don't support gay marriage! Supporting doesn't mean you have to do it, it just means you leave others alone who do wish to do so.

Why does anyone need to vote on how people love? It never ceases to amaze me that this -- like women's rights -- needs to be put to a vote! That is appalling. The constitution states that we are all created equal; if this is so, why does equality in any format have to be voted on? I just don't get it -- and I never will.

So here is the article (which left me wanting to shoot some individuals and applaud others):

"As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in two gay marriage cases, proponents of marriage equality in New Jersey are mired in their own internal arguments over how to counter Gov. Chris Christie's veto last year of a bill allowing same-sex nuptials.

New Jersey was among the first in the nation to grant legal status to gay couples when it authorized civil unions in 2006, but the state's Republican governor stopped a bid led by majority Democratic lawmakers to expand full marriage rights to gays.

Christie said he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, but said voters should decide if marriage laws should be expanded -- an option that has divided advocates.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney, the state's highest-ranking Democratic lawmaker, said Monday he's planning to schedule a future vote to override Christie's veto, a strategy supported by several gay advocacy groups.

But Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, the state's first openly gay lawmaker, said the referendum may be a better route, especially after gay-marriage approval by voters in Washington, Maryland and Maine last year.

"An override vote, a referendum, a favorable court ruling -- let's have everything on the table at our disposal," said Gusciora, D-Mercer.

However, the referendum is not supported by the state's largest gay rights group, Garden State Equality, which says a referendum would create division and controversy in communities.

Putting the "rights of the minority in the hands of the majority" is unfair, said Troy Stephenson, executive director of Garden State Equality. "It destroys communities, it breaks up families, it brings out levels of hatred and discrimination that people have never seen before," Stevenson said. "It's a horrible thing."

The evolving politics of gay marriage are not unique to New Jersey, but Gusciora's turnabout is noteworthy, said John Tomicki, president of the New Jersey Coalition to Protect and Preserve Marriage.

Tomicki said the divide shows that Democrats know "they don't have the votes in the Legislature to override the governor."

"The override vote will obviously fail. They're not even close to the 54 votes they'll need in the Assembly and 27 votes in the Senate (for a two-thirds override)," Tomicki said.

Tomicki said his group is opposed to same-sex marriage "because thousands of years of history and sociology and the last 40 years of research shows that the most stable situation for the raising of children is the biological of one man and one woman."

The Supreme Justices will hear arguments today on California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage and on Wednesday on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Same-sex marriage proponents say the civil union experiment has failed in New Jersey and couples are constantly being denied equal rights.

Ocean Grove residents Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Pastor have faced a number of road blocks since their civil union in 2007.

One of the first led to a complaint with the Division of Civil Rights, when the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association prohibited their civil union ceremony from the boardwalk pavilion. The DCR ruled the Camp Meeting Association's call call discriminatory in 2012, and the group banned all weddings from its pavilion, said Bernstein, 71.

Bernstein and Pastor say many local hospitals and doctor's offices don't recognize civil unions on medical forms. Pastor, 65, has checked herself off as "single" because there is no suitable option.

People don't understand civil unions. It's easier for people to understand you're married," she said.

Garden State Equality filed a case in the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2011, representing five civil-union couples who say they have been slighted equal rights.

The couples were denied access to their spouses in hospitals, deprived of health insurance by their partner's employers, incurred additional fees for legal protections among other challenges, according to GSE.

Sweeney said the Supreme Court rulings could swing more legislature votes in favor of the New Jersey legislation. "If we're not successful in an override, then we'll get back together and with the marriage equality community and strategize on what's next," Sweeney said.

Bob Jordan:
609-984-4343; bjordan@njpressmedia.com

I included Bob's info, just like the article provided, in case anyone wishes to contact him with comments or questions.

When Ray called to see how I was, I was pissed off and high on my soapbox, and let out a solid five or six minute diatribe on how exactly slighted I felt by reading this article, how the morons opposing gay marriage should be treated, and my thoughts on who should vote, because the number of closed-minded, unfeeling wretches out there scares me silly. And wasn't I surprised when he calmly told me that he heard on the news that approximately 65% of New Jersey residents are in favour of gay marriage!

YES!

I love to hear good news! Do I believe it? I very much want to. I also can't believe at all that hospitals won't honour gay marriages and allow the most important person, your lover, your partner, your best friend, to be at your side when you need him/her (or those who as yet undecided) the most. Or this group, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, and their idiotic behaviour. May the next hurricane swamp those who denied first Ms. Bernstein and Ms. Pastor their ceremony and all the couples following, from enjoying their nuptials on a beautiful beach!

Again, I find it appalling that anyone has to put to vote anything that has to do with love. Hatred should be stamped out, not love. Never love.

I worked with, have friends who are gay. I never minded. It has never bothered me. Why should anyone care? I just don't understand what people consider their business.

And this guy John Tomicki needs to be slapped. I offer my services. Followed by Corzine, who should be slapped or whatever for any number of reasons, followed of course by Christie. Morons, all. And so stupid -- again, not their business. Why would Mr. Tomicki state such unbelievably ridiculous comments about marriages between one man and one woman being the only correct atmosphere for children?! There are plenty of one man/one woman marriages with another, not-so-spoken-of man or woman taking part. Or with a man who beats the wife and kids. I know plenty two man marriages and two women marriages where the kids are loved and raised in a wonderful atmosphere. What do you know about happy children in relationships, Mr. Tomicki? Clearly, you don't. Leave the raising of the kids to the parents, whatever their respective genders.

I want to see California's Proposition 8 go through. I want to see New Jersey put gay marriage back into lawful behaviour. I want it for all places on Terra. I want diversity to be celebrated -- everywhere.

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