Sunday, January 10, 2010

Are the Democrats to blame for Gay Marriage failing in NJ?

As many advocates of same-sex marriage will already be aware, the upcoming gay marriage bill in New Jersey has been rejected in the NJ senate by a 20-14 majority.

It's an unexpected defeat for supporters of marriage equality, as the generally liberal-leaning New Jersey was expected to accept the motion with little resistance.

Garden State Equality chairman Steven Goldstein admitted: "We resent, more than you can imagine, remaining second-class citizens a bit longer. On the other hand, at least the ball has moved at little bit forward."

In retrospect, though, this defeat was inevitable - and not because of any overwhelming hostility towards same-sex marriage by the residents of the Garden State (who, in polls, largely supported the motion.)

The new New Jersey governor, Republican Chris Christie, made it a campaign promise to veto any same-sex marriage bill if it crossed his desk - meaning that ultimately this bill would have been cast aside even if the senate had won that single extra vote they needed to pass it.

Which makes this a failure created by the Democratic party in New Jersey, not the Republicans (who opposed Same Sex marriage from the very beginning.)

If incumbent Governor Jon Corzine hadn't been so absurdly corrupt and inept, perhaps he'd have won last November's election - and kept in place a political hierarchy that would have been much more receptive to the passing of this controversial law.

Republican Chris Christie, as I wrote here, had a shameful political record when he stood for election - but that was par for the course in this utterly corrupt state. He won victory over Jon Corzine not because he was better, or more competent (which he inarguably wasn't.) He won merely because he was the least corrupt politician out of the two (which wasn't much of a claim, either!)

The gay and lesbian population of New Jersey, who had formerly been proud of the fact that theirs was going to be one of the earliest states to adopt gay marriage, have every right to be angry that this law didn't pass.

However the blame should be placed squarely at the foot of the state's Democratic party - who acted with such irresponsibility and incompetence over the previous four years that the largely liberal-leaning people of New Jersey had no option but to vote against them and get 'in bed with the enemy' (in this case, the Republican party') come the 2009 election.

Soaring property taxes and a gaping deficit ultimately overshadowed the ongoing struggle for marriage equality in this state. The fact that the financial survival of the many overwhelmed the civil rights of the few is a shameful legacy for New Jersey Democrats to have to contend with.

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