Wednesday, October 25, 2006

NJ High Court Rules

Can this be seen as a win, can it?

I went to, as soon as I heard the decision was made public. Reading the syllabus gives you most of the info you need on this one.

On the one hand they left us in the lurch by not finding in complete favor with the plaintiffs. On the other, by leaving the next step in the hands of the legislature, we may have gotten the ruling we need. NJ gets the same protections as Vt. and other states.

Steven Goldstein, the chairman of the gay-rights group Garden State Equality, said the courts decision was disappointing. “Those who would view today's ruling as a victory for same sex couples are dead wrong,” he said. “Half-steps short of marriage — like New Jersey’s domestic-partnership law and also civil union laws — don’t work in the real world.”Mr. Goldstein was among those who celebrated the domestic partnership law, but he would later find that it fell short of expectations. He said today that “hospitals and other employers have told domestic-partnered couples across New Jersey: We don’t care what the domestic partnership law says, you’re not married.”

In the last few years, public opinion has become more accepting of gay marriage, at least in New Jersey. A Rutgers-Eagleton poll of New Jersey residents taken in June found that 50 percent said they supported allowing same-sex couples to marry legally, while 44 percent were opposed. (The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.) When the poll asked the same question in 2003, 43 percent of respondents supported legal recognition for gay marriage and 50 percent were opposed.

The Gov. wants it passed. The House and Senate may experience the upheaval come election day necessary for all to become aware of what the public wants.