New Jersey is offering civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. It's about time. The Tretonian: Civil unions available in NJ to gay couples starting today
(Image credit: 1010.com)
For those of you who may have missed it, I waxed poetic on this very subject in a little post titled "National Marry A Lesbian Day" last summer. I have reprinted it here for your enjoyment and because it seems rather fitting considering New Jersey's rational for offering this option.
National Marry a Lesbian Day (Originally published on 6/5/2006)
As I sat in front of my morning newspaper this morning (For all you children out there, that's the big paper thing with the words and pictures on it that your parents use to swat the dog.) I was reading about the biggest issue facing America today. How big you ask? So big that our President wants to amend the very document that shapes our rights as citizens, the very document that serves as the cornerstone of our legal system. So important is this issue that it can't possibly be left to the states or mere federal law but requires a change to the constitution itself.
That's right, I'm talking about Gay Marriage.
According to our President, "Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all."
Exactly how stupid does he think we are? Does he honestly believe that the average American cares if the two women living next door with their three cats and two children from a third world country have been through some ceremony? I don't. What I do think is that most Americans would like to see that those children have all the rights and benefits to which they are entitled. And that includes the health and well being of their parents.
Bush and his political hacks are confusing the issue of marriage for political reasons. They are trying to shore-up the religious right and prove that the Republican's are still their horse in the race. They want to have a wedge issue that they can drive between the suburbs and the cities, the minorities and the Democrats. But it is a false issue, a phantom created to electrify a portion of the electorate. It is a Hallmark Holiday issue, created solely to sell the Republicans as the moral compass of the country.
The real issue here is whether or not domestic partners can receive and share the same benefits as straight married people. It is about rights, not religious morals. Should gays have access to healthcare? Should the children of lesbian couples be as secure as those of straight couples? Should gays couples be allowed the same rights in divorce and death as straight couples? Those are the questions, not whether or not the very existence of the lesbians next door is somehow eroding the sanctity of my marriage. As a married person, I can tell you that they aren't.
The bottom line is this. If a church will marry two people, it is none of the State's business. This country was founded on that ideal. Now we have to decide if those people should be given the same rights as other citizens, and as equal rights is also a founding principle of the US, then I say yes, regardless of what the bible thumpers may say about it.