Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Make sense please

I will start by saying that I am anxiously awaiting Jimbo’s take on the issue, but it seems that New Jersey has, you know, sorta maybe, instituted gay marriage a little perhaps.

New Jersey's Supreme Court opened the door to gay marriage Wednesday, ruling that homosexuals are entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals, but leaving it to lawmakers to legalize same-sex unions.

The high court gave lawmakers 180 days to rewrite marriage laws to either include same-sex couples or create a new system of civil unions for them.

Well, that sure feels nice. I feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that everyone will have the same rights. Cause, you know, we don’t all have the same rights to begin with. Privileges and rights aren’t quite the same, fryman.

Anyway, as I experience this wonderful feeling of renewed equity for my sexually different brethren, I come across this line.

Gay couples in New Jersey can already apply for domestic partnerships under a law the Legislature passed in 2004 giving gay couples some benefits of marriage, such as the right to inherit possessions if there is no will and healthcare coverage for state workers.

So did the legislature sarnath the courts?

It is like, Court: Ok you guys have to give gay couples these benefits.
Legislature: Ok we will get to that in negative 2 years.
Court: When was our tee time again?

Also, I hope that someone with a more subtle understanding of the complexities of the law could explain this one to me as well:

"Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state Constitution," Justice Barry T. Albin wrote for the 4-3 majority's decision.

N.B. When it is a 4-3 decision, you know it must be a strong one. But I digress. They admit that there is no right to same sex “marriage.” Why does it need to go beyond that? And what changed in the state constitution that the previous system can “no longer be tolerated”? I thought that constitutions only changed by amendment. Is there a recent amendment to the state constitution that allowed this to happen?

Or is the court just doing what the elected representatives of the people of New Jersey just won’t?


At 5:24 AM, October 29, 2006 , Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

I have not commented, mostly because I have not yet read the 90-page opinion, which I suspect might be little more than verbal backfill to support the justices' pre-ordained conclusions about how things "ought to be".

You know ... the Justice says to his law clerk, "Here's the holding; now go find the law."


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