Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Jersay Rules On Gay Marriage

The New Jersey supreme court today ruled that the state must either allow gay marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples. The court ruled that the inequity in marriage laws is intolerable under the New Jersey State Constitution. The state legislature now has 180 days to either allow gay marriage, or offer some sort of civil union. Since it is still my firm belief that banning gay marraige is a violation of the 1st Amendments freedom of religion clause, I am hoping that the NJ legislature will go with marriage and not a civli union. If the state is going to recognize marriages done by churches, it should recognize marriages done by all churches, not just the ones who believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

The holding was perfect in its constitutional analysis:

HELD: Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married
heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds
that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed samesex
couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the
civil marriage statutes. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to samesex
couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.

Holding via Atrios

This is just one of four states now that has decided "equal protection under the laws" actually means equal protection.

Religious conservatives can hold out for a long time, but eventually, equal protection will be equal protection in all 50 states.

NJ court stops short of gay marriage OK
By GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press Writer

TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey's Supreme Court opened the door to gay marriage Wednesday, ruling that homosexuals are entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals, but leaving it to lawmakers to legalize same-sex unions.

The high court gave lawmakers 180 days to rewrite marriage laws to either include same-sex couples or create a new system of civil unions for them.

The ruling is similar to the 1999 decision in Vermont that led to civil unions there, which offer the benefits of marriage, but not the name.

"Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state Constitution," Justice Barry T. Albin wrote for the 4-3 majority's decision.

Outside the Supreme Court, news of the ruling caused confusion, with many of the roughly 100 gay marriage supporters outside asking each other what it meant. Many started to agree that they needed to push for a state constitutional amendment to institute gay marriage.

(Full Story)

1 comment:

KJV said...

Homosexuality is and abomination before the LORD!
Genesis 19:1-7
1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.