Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Well stated! NJ Supreme Court decision on gay marriage

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Very nicely said. I never could fathom how allowing gays to marry would have any effect whatsoever on straight marriages, much less somehow “harm” them (especially since this “harm” was always couched in vague and nonspecific terms; for example, that straight marriage will be “undermined”. What? They’re going to tunnel under the houses of straight couples? Really: there’s no there in those arguments, and the NJ Supreme Court states that well. I would bet, though, that the push to not allow gay marriage is simply a barely-disguised effort to bring the US closer to a theocratic state, for the only cogent argument against gay marriage is in the context of religious beliefs, and respect for freedom of religion means allowing each to act in accordance with his/her beliefs insofar as they do not harm, or allow harm to befall, etc.—you know the idea. Those whose beliefs dictate that they not enter a same-sex marriage should, by all means, follow the dictates of their system of belief. And if one’s religion dictates that s/he must pray in the direction of Mecca 5 times a day, by all means do it. But, please, do not try to forbid nonbelievers from forming same-sex marriages if they want, or force nonbelievers to pray 5 times a day toward Mecca. I thought most agreed that keeping out of law the special requirements/dictates of particular religions was a good idea. (And I alluded to this in the earlier post on how some regions have access only to Catholic hospitals—specifically regions with non-Catholics among the population.)

Zack Ford writes at ThinkProgress:

The New Jersey Supreme Court issued an arguably unprecedented decision Friday: though they still plan to hear out a case challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, they are going to allow same-sex couples to begin marrying in the state in the meantime. The lower court’s decision will take effect at 12:01 AM Monday morning.

In an order denying the Christie administration a stay of the lower court’s marriage equality ruling, the Court posited that the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act so “changed the landscape” that the harm to same-sex couples being denied federal benefits was too blatant to ignore:

The State 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. The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative. […]

The State identified certain abstract harms… Weighed against them are immediate and concrete violations of plaintiffs’ right to equal protection under the law. Because plaintiffs cannot marry under State law, they and their children are simply not eligible for a host of federal benefits available to same-sex married couples today. […]

The balance of hardships does not support the motion for a stay.

As ThinkProgress outlined earlier, this outcome is not a final guarantee that the right to marry is a permanent fixture for same-sex couples in New Jersey, but it is incredibly encouraging. Though the Court reserved its right to nullify any marriages that take place until they rule, they have explicitly stated their expectation that the state will lose and marriage equality will prevail.

As of Monday, New Jersey will become the 14th state (plus the District of Columbia and some New Mexico counties) to offer marriage to same-sex couples.

(HT: Kathleen Perrin.)

Written by Leisureguy

19 October 2013 at 1:48 pm

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