Saturday, September 28, 2013

NOM is OUTRAGED - Victimized again in NJ

Marriage discrimination in New Jersey is nearly at an end. National Organization for Marriage is losing their religion-based war on equality faster than anyone ever expected. Equality advocates are fighting discrimination in the courts and in the legislature (to override Chris Christie's veto). We enjoyed a victory of sorts today because Superior Court judge Mary Jacobson ordered the state to begin granting and recognizing same-sex marriages starting October 21.

Christie has already said that he will appeal — and I expect him to lose. In a state where 60% of the voters favor marriage equality Governor Christie must presume that his opposition to equality is a must for his political future.

National Organization for Marriage and its president, Brian Brown, seem to have rubber stamps for disapproval. After I read the decision in court I was waiting for the outburst, that childish hissy fit where Brian Brown (with all the conviction of a three-year-old) screams that he is going to hold his breath until he turns blue. I didn't have to wait very long. The press release reads (in bold print):
This is another outrageous example of judicial activism. An activist judge has overreached her authority and chosen to impose same-sex ‘marriage’ on the entire state of New Jersey.” — Brian Brown, NOM president —
All that "judicial activism" stuff merely means that a jurist has reached a decision that they don't like. It is the state's marriage policy ("the entire state") that was always at issue in this case. But the big whopper here is the idea that something was imposed on everyone else. Ten years of equality in Massachusetts alone and nobody has been affected except those thus wed. The only imposition here is on people who suddenly have a flurry of wedding gifts to buy as their gay friends get married.

Yes, I know. There's that Victims List™ — the half dozen or so people who are shocked to learn that that they cannot say “we don't serve your kind here” in the operation of a public accommodation. NOM's real sorrow is that they cannot impose their religious beliefs on everyone else.

This is all quite easy to understand. Brian Brown is a true believer, a defender of the faith doing God's work. God cannot possibly lose in court unless the game is rigged by the forces of evil. According to NOM:
The New Jersey state judge applied her own reading of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor v United States to find that the state’s law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman must be changed. However, the Windsor decision declined to impose same-sex marriage on the nation and instead upheld the right of states to define marriage for themselves.
Doesn't NOM check with counsel before issuing something that stupid? Or, perhaps they don't care. In point of fact this has nothing to do with the Judge's interpretation of the decision in US v. Windsor. Rather it is the effect of Windsor that shaped this judge's decision.

In one example, Judge Jacobson wrote;
…civil union partners who are federal employees living in New Jersey are ineligible for marital rights with regard to the federal pension system, all civil union partners who are employees working for businesses to which the Family and Medical Leave Act applies may not rely on its statutory protections for spouses, and civil union couples may not access the federal tax benefits that married couples enjoy.
Rather than DOMA, as NOM claims, this is an issue of equal protection. Sadly, for NOM, the Catholic Church is not the arbiter of what constitutes equal protection under the law. That simple fact is what makes Brian Brown so angry and frustrated. The rest of us are clumsily on our way to national marriage equality. It really is inevitable.
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