Gov. Christie wants cake, eats it too.
So, New Jersey’s Gov. Christie nominates Bruce Harris, America’s first openly gay African-American Republican elected official, mayor of tiny Chatham Borough, barely a few months ago, to the State Supreme Court one day, and the next day says gays have no “right” to get married. So, 8 out of 9 justices on the court can get married by law, and the ninth, well, tough noogies? And what does Mr. Christie tell Mr. Harris on the day of the swearing in? “Oh, too bad old fellow, you can rule on all the matters of the state but are not good enough to have your relationship recognized by the state over which you hold sway?” Is that what Mr. Christie will say, or something of the like? Odd, he seems to want his cake and eat it too.
For one cannot say that a gay man is of good enough stature to be on the highest court in the state, but is not of good enough stature to marry the man of his dreams. It’s just political pandering – to whom, it’s hard to tell. For why would he nominate the hitherto obscure Mr. Harris to such an esteemed position and then tell him he’s not worthy of a legal marriage? Here’s the article from which I feed: http://news.yahoo.com/nj-gov-says-hed-veto-gay-marriage-bill-182600917.html
It’s clear that Christie, who deigned to run for president, would certainly love to be vice-president, and I guess he’s got to appease the voters of New Jersey and the Republican faithful – my, what a tight rope the man must wander. And for a man of girth, a man who has abandoned all thought of the sin of gluttony, that’s astounding. For I doubt Mr. Harris was the only qualified person to be found among the 8 million people of New Jersey to sit on the high court at this moment. For what purpose would he nominate Mr. Harris? Surely it is for some political reason? Or could Mr. Harris, toiling in obscurity lo these many years all of a sudden be the wisest man in the land?
And when the whole issue comes before the state’s Supreme Court, as it will do, one way or the other, by one side or the other, perhaps as to whether the touted amendment passes muster, or is required, or is something or else, or should be stricken or upheld if it passes or fails, no doubt the forces arrayed against gay people will of course demand he recuse himself – for these heathens are sure that no gay judge shall ever have a right to rule on a gay matter – they have made that clear in state after state, case after case. Indeed, no doubt the forces against gay folk’s very existence will be enraged that a gay man is on the court at all, rather than in some religious “reparative” therapy center at the age of 65 or whatever Mr. Harris is. He’s not a young’un that’s for sure.
So Christie says: “Let the people of New Jersey decide what is right for the state.” Yes, well, what else then should be put to the people’s vote? After all, if this is so important that the duly constituted legislature is not to be trusted, no doubt no other matter can be trusted to the Representative Republic in which we live – and not the Athenean Democracy which Mr. Christie now seems to think we live in. Hell, Mr. Christie, of “lower the taxes” fame, and “cut the union’s” power demeanor – why not put those matters to be decided by the people? You have not called for one other thing to be put to the people – but have cajoled the legislature to do your bidding. You haven’t called for a vote of the people on one single matter in your tenure as governor – and now, of a sudden, the people are paramount and the governor and legislature is to be shunted aside? Then resign, and let every matter be a people’s vote. Be consistent — on truly important matters — and not the tiny thing of gay marriage – for we cannot be this important.
From the article: “Christie told a town hall audience that an issue of such magnitude should be decided by residents and shouldn’t be treated as ‘ political football.’” Oh really? Don’t make it a “political football.” Well, sir, how on earth could making a political referendum for the people’s vote on a constitutional amendment not be a political football? You will have to launch the campaign – a year or two prior to the vote – with politicking galore! With gay folks to be kicked around in unholy nastiness and vitriol by political figures of all sundry and sordid sort. Do you think, sir, that there will be no politicking about the issue? Will not every political group, PAC, political hack, political ads, political campaigns, political advisers, and every politician in the state being importuned by every two-bit NO GAYS! nit wit in the land come to the Garden State to politic? Of course they will. Please, spare me the “no political football” nonsense – we have long been out of the huddle, and under the steely gaze of the front-line men to be unaware of the politicking to come on the issue.
Indeed, to take the football away from the politics you should sign the bill and shush. But to say you don’t want it to be political and then throw it into the political arena is astounding mush. Particularly, the day after you nominate a gay man to be on the state’s highest court which will wind up ruling somehow someday on the very matter of the referendum. Not to mention, New Jersey doesn’t really have a referendum process – I can recall not once in my 45 years of cogent life that New Jersey ever put any matter before the entire electorate to be decided – perhaps I’m wrong, but I dare say no.
“He said a proposed constitutional amendment should be drafted and put to a referendum, a position he also held when he campaigned for office in 2009.” Yes, well, again, I can’t recall a single other amendment to the constitution of New Jersey ever put to the vote of the entire people – which usually means some 35% or so – for that’s the usual turnout in elections in that fair state.
“Of such magnitude…”? Really? What magnitude? Who will be affected by gay marriage? Gay folks of course, will get to have a little legal protections and benefits now denied, though they pay the extortionate tax rates of New Jersey that Mr. Christie is trying to quell. This buggaboo about heteros being “impacted” by gay marriage – I keep pointing out: are heteros so unsure of their sexuality? Are their marriages so built on sand (seems so, given the divorce rate and the adulterous bed-hopping) that they must deny “marriage” to gay folks lest their own marriages fall by the wayside like a seed on stony ground? Is the happiness, even bliss, of gay couples so inimical to the hetero conscience that only preventing the legal recognition of the practical on-the-ground reality that necessary?
And he’s all for civil unions, this Mr. Christie is, and so apparently the good heteros can handle the concept, but what, not the word “marriage”? Are heteros that unsure and unsteady of themselves? Meanwhile, we gays are clamoring for marriage in ways and strengths that the “conservative” Mr. Christie should marvel at. Indeed, as some commentators at National Review and the American Spectator, hardly pro-gay publications, and Christie lovers of note, have marveled at the strongly professed desires and commitments to marriage that gays demand and insist upon – as we have been doing so since Frank Kameny stood before the gates of the White House in the late 1950s. Gay groups have been insisting on this for decades, this is nothing new.
“Whether or not to redefine hundreds of years of societal and religious traditions should not be decided by 121 people in the Statehouse,” he said. Oh really? Besides the fact that nothing is being “redefined” but a hitherto matter of equality expanded to cover more people, the erstwhile reason for this Republic. Or was “voting” redefined” by letting women vote? Was “freedom” redefined by getting rid of slavery – and in one fell swoop with nary 121 legislators of any sort or style, state or federal, did Mr. Lincoln, first Republican president, of Mr. Christie’s own party, get rid of slavery — and certainly no public referendum. Poof, gone. By imperial writ even, of a sort never before or since contemplated. The Emancipation Proclamation was the most far reaching single act of a single man ever carried out in this Republic of legislatures. Nary a public referendum, court order, legislative vote or even consultation with anyone more, apparently, than a few cabinet members of the time and Mrs. Lincoln – and poof, Mr. Lincoln got rid of slavery. 121 now deciding would be some 120 more than Mr. Lincoln did to rid a most pernicious “societal and religious tradition” of the land.
Not to mention – religion doesn’t belong in the law. Strange how it seems only gay folks are subject to religious reasons for laws – no other matter is of “religious tradition” that should be enshrined in law, or any law subject to it. But apparently for gays there’s a religious test for mere citizenship, and everyone else free to throw their Bibles into the swamps of the Meadowlands. Where was the public vote on gambling? On divorce? On allowing women to vote? On lowering the voting age? On getting rid of the adultery laws? Of changing any law indeed — no matter was ever as important as the use of the word “marriage” by gay folks? Pshaw, it just can’t be so. Where were those votes, Mr. Christie?
Not to mention, but I shall, over 350 years of societal and religious traditions about women voting, gambling, divorce, adultery, liquor, the state income tax, abortion, welfare, slavery, black voting rights – all of them highly contentious “societal and religious traditions” and of quite a “magnitude” indeed – ones affecting every citizen of New Jersey – not a one of them were ever put to a referendum for a constitutional amendment. Not once did any “societal or religious” figures ever come to the fore and demand a public vote of everyone (or such as could be mustered,) to preserve the previous arrangements and the 121 people in the statehouse were deemed well qualified, as they should be, to deal with the matter. And legal “marriage” – the mere use of the word even, for Mr. Christie says, in effect, that “civil unions” are “just like marriage” – only affects gays, for no hetero will go down to the local gay bar (from which taxes are paid to pay Mr. Christie’s ample salary, public home and perks, and food galore,) and find a gay guy to hitch.
And, since I always like to point out that gayness is such a different thing, that it’s never “Republicans hate it, Democrats like it” nonsense of the gay chattering classes and the big media – Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat sponsoring the bill, said civil rights issues like the right to marry are guaranteed under the state constitution and do not require a public vote.” “Civil rights is not to be placed on the ballot,” Sweeney said – just several years after he was quite against it – well, if Sweeny swept away his concerns, so could Christie cross the aisle and join the future, instead of being mired in the past, when his own state, following societal traditions, used to incarcerate gay folks, never mind let them buss at the altar or the “civil union” clerk’s office.
Indeed, where does one get this vaunted “civil union” piece of paper in New Jersey? Is there a separate office from the Marriage Office? Do we get a special window, for we’re special? Are we conferred with this “special right” while all the heteros go to some other bureaucrat for their paper? Indeed, it must perforce even be a different form, a different drawer, even, in the desk of some flunky, for the form to be pulled. How unequal, how special, how ridiculous.
Even more astounding, here and now, in this time of growing acceptance of gay folks – spurred, directed, insisted, demanded by gay folks ourselves, starting with our very families, still denied to see us in matrimony while our siblings – paying the same taxes, and to vote on the same proffered referendum no doubt – are accepted into the fold with one word, we are given another –> what a thing to tell a mother – “your gay son is less worthy than your hetero son” – so much for societal and religious traditions about the equal love and worth of a mother’s two sons — and the utter abdication of family reality – now comes this: Earlier Tuesday, 127 professors from 48 law schools around the country signed a letter saying New Jersey’s civil union law cannot be fixed. No, the whole concept of “civil union” is mush – it’s “marriage” without the word, supposedly.
Is the word that sacred? A mere word? Why, the Supreme Court already recently ruled that anyone in the land might say “God hates fags” and I’m sure all the religious fanatics of New Jersey can bar the church house doors and say “God Hates Fags” to their great delight and safety and gays go get married elsewhere. Is the mere word the thing? Is this only then what “marriage” is, a word? Seems so, what with the astounding disregard heteros use towards it. Why, they stand, in traditional and societal approbation galore on altars from High Point to Cape May and solemnly swear to God and State, family and spouse: “till death do us part” and within the fortnight or twenty years are down at the never-referendumed (if I may coin a term, for such are these times of mush) divorce courts; themselves paid for with gay tax dollars – which divorce was illegal and not sanctioned in New Jersey from inception of statehood until the 1960s – when 121 people in the statehouse threw those laws out. And now you all but clearly state: “separate, and unequal” — so much for our nation’s traditions — and not some church’s.
Come now Mr. Christie – you have not only made this a political football – you have picked it up and thrown it to the rabid rioting fans who are sure that gay people have not only no right to marriage, but no right to existence itself. For your Catholic Church, which was mentioned, which you referenced as the font of your beliefs that the mere word “marriage” shall not be sullied by gay folks, while heteros disdain it with alacrity — and which all the anti-gay forces will mention – the Church want us gone from this earth. So much for their societal traditions: eradication! Let us vote, the people, on their tax exempt status.
And while we’re at it, let us put every legislative act to the people’s vote – and let us merely make the legislature a law proposing body, and the governor a rubber stamp – of what need we you anymore if the “People” are to decide everything? – rather than the representative body of the people it is supposed to be? One that was designed specifically by the founders of this nation to remove the rule of the mob, to forestall the politicizing of every issue by base emotions of the moment, and place them squarely in the hands of 121 people in Trenton to make decisions for the state. Ah, but now you propose to get rid of the legislative purpose, and bring about the mob, which shall be frenzied up in a riot that only fans of English football love. And gay folks will be kicked and punted and chased off the field. Bah, sir, Bah!
Cut the pandering, cut the politicizing – and lead. You claim to be a leader of your state, and now, like a callow dog, you seek to follow. You sought your position to make New Jersey a better place, and now you throw gay folks like a split pig skin to the very forces that would have us removed from society – for tradition, they say. That sir, is not leadership – putting the matter of gay happiness to the public’s preference is nothing but “political football” of the lowest sort. For not individuals will be involved as individuals – but the concept of “homosexuality” – that’s what will be put to the public – not John & Joe, or Jane & Mary in bliss – but “homosexuality” – and not a happy couple will be seen (hell, the media can still with impunity ban us from the airwaves and printed press), but the preconceived notions of what any voter will think of some abstract – rather than a man like Bruce Harris, who just the day before you utter mush, you nominated to the highest court of the land. How you can say he’s worthy and unworthy within twenty-four hours is beyond me, truly it is.
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