New Jersey people they will surprise you

I’ve been cautiously monitoring the court battle over marriage equality in New Jersey, the place of my birth. As John Gorka says, “I’m from New Jersey, I don’t expect too much,” and so I’ve been skeptical of the positive signs and reluctant to celebrate until it seemed clear that such celebration wasn’t just some cruel illusion. That’s the Jersey way of looking at things.

But I think maybe we can celebrate now.

N.J. Supreme Court: ‘No public interest’ in blocking gay marriage

The state Supreme Court not only cleared the way Friday for the first same-sex weddings while it continues to hear an appeal by Gov. Chris Christie — it flat out rejected the governor’s arguments for opposing gay marriage and stressed that he’s unlikely to win next year when the justices make a final ruling.

In a sweeping, 7-0 opinion written by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, the high court signaled it has already wrestled with the biggest questions at the heart of the case, finding that “same-sex couples in New Jersey are now being deprived of the full rights and benefits the state constitution guarantees” and that the Republican governor “has not shown a reasonable probability of success” as he challenges a lower-court ruling that legalized gay marriage in September.

The justices ruled that gay couples are short-changed by civil unions, the only partnership New Jersey allows them, because a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June extended hundreds of tax and medical benefits to same-sex couples but only if they are in “lawful marriages.”

“Civil-union partners in New Jersey today do not receive the same benefits as married same-sex couples when it comes to family and medical leave, Medicare, tax and immigration matters, military and veterans’ affairs, and other areas,” Rabner wrote. “The state constitution’s guarantee of equal protection is therefore not being met.”

Christie’s administration, Rabner continued, “has advanced a number of arguments, but none of them overcome this reality: same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today.”

Legal experts and gay rights advocates said the court, which is due to hear oral arguments in the case the first week of January, has left little doubt about which way it is leaning. Even Justice Anne Patterson, a Republican appointed by Christie, joined Rabner’s opinion, they noted.

For Perry Dane, an expert on same-sex marriage law at Rutgers University in Camden, Rabner’s strong language shows the court is preparing to set in stone what it granted provisionally Friday.

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  • Invisible Neutrino

    Yeah, he borrowed her clunker and promptly beat the shit out of it driving like a bat out of hell.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    Reminds me of this one fellow at a workplace who managed to get the death glare the first week from one of the girls who worked there and she never liked him after that. As it transpired, I later found out he had a rather cavalier tendency to joke about being able to fool around behind his girlfriend’s back, so I suspect that what she was reacting to was the slight creeper vibe he was giving off. (he didn’t exactly look that awesome with the 80s pornstache he had going on. I might add.)

  • Emcee, cubed

    That was actually before they started demonizing Christie directly. Had they not been able to stop the aid being approved, and Christie took it then, he personally would have been fine, I think. The problem was he went after the people who were trying to block the aid. If he has kept quiet, or let the NY governor (a D, I seem to recall) take the lead in pushing for it, I doubt Christie would be so disliked by the Teabaggers.

  • Baby_Raptor

    That, or he’s counting on the Tea Party having imploded by then. If it has, at least some of the former Baggers will go back to voting for whatever candidate the Republicans offer up.

  • Matthias

    There are two options to change the OR constitution:
    - Both state houses pass it and it is then approved by the people
    - The people collect 116284 signatures and it is then approved by the people.

    What is done right now is the second option, which bypasses the state congress

  • Emcee, cubed

    Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.

  • Lori

    All the while complaining to himself about the fact that it was such a crappy car. Not like the fully loaded Land Rover he’d bought with the Antichrist’s credit card.

  • Lori

    Or she had had a bad experience with a cheating bf. Or she was one of those people doesn’t appreciate being given the details of coworkers’ private lives. Or she just didn’t like liars.

    In any case, the problem was almost certainly him and not that she was some feminazi beotch or whatever stupid crap MRAs would say.

  • Turcano

    Well, that’s exactly how the temperance movement felt about Prohibition.

  • VMink

    part of the problem is the ongoing (in some ways, active) alteration of our language. I want to tell them, “‘Asshole’ is not a compliment!” except for some of these people, it is.

    One time I was in a class with someone who said, kind of proudly, ‘Yeah, I’m an asshole!’ Then a few days later was lamenting that they didn’t have many friends and weren’t able to do many social things with friends he didn’t have. I couldn’t bring myself to remind him about the ‘I’m an asshole’ line.

  • stardreamer42

    Marriage is a legal contract, and is therefore subject to the “full faith and credence” clause; none of these state Constitutional amendments should ever have been allowed to stand in the first place. That said, I agree that the 14th Amendment argument is the way to go here — and sooner or later, every one of those state amendments is going to fall foul of it.

  • stardreamer42

    The “old-fashioned gentleman who reveres ladies” trope has a very dark underside — namely, that any woman who doesn’t fit HIS definition of a “lady” immediately becomes fair game. It’s Madonna/whore syndrome taken to ridiculous extremes, but that’s how they justify their behavior toward any woman who doesn’t know her place. She’s “not a lady” and therefore they can treat her any way they like, up to and including rape.