Thursday, February 2, 2012

I hope Gov. Christie was Listening

Chris Christie
After almost six hours of debate and public testimony, the New Jersey General Assembly Judiciary Committee  voted 5-2 to advance marriage equality legislation. I probably listened to about half of the testimony which came from a broad cross-section of citizens.

Of course, there were numerous gays, friends of gays and parents of gays. There was also testimony from the religious community.


Many of the parents of gays testified that they had both gay children and straight children. They offered listeners a microcosmic view of a society in which one child enjoyed full equality while another child did not. I found this testimony to be extremely compelling if one could appreciate the nuance.

Then of course, we suffered through the usual suspects; The religious fundamentalists. Apparently, marriage equality will lead to the ruin of our civilization if New Jersey does not spin off into space first. They dutifully repeated the usual nonsensical talking points     and then some. The offered nothing new or innovative.

Progressive clergy were also well represented. Collectively, they made a very elegant argument in favor of marriage equality.
  1. They believe in the benefits of marriage for both society and the participants and;
  2. True religious liberty means that they should have the right to marry their congregants even if others choose not to.
Numerous proponents of equality also addressed the idea of a referendum. They noted that it was bound to be acrimonious and something that they did not want to subject gay teens to hearing and living through. It's a valid point.

If Governor Christie was listening, he will sign this bill if it gets through the New Jersey legislature.
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