A Cautious Man
December 10, 2008
Two Kids Get Married, Same Old Thing ...
... or, not.

Here in the Great State of New Jersey, we have had a "civil unions" law which was intended to provide a "just as good as marriage" status for same-sex couples. Since there was, and is, some disagreement about whether "just as good as" is good enough, that law also provided for something called the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission. The Commission was to examine whether, in fact, a civil union was "just as good as ...", etc.

Well the report came out today (link here is a PDF), and as you may have guessed - "just as good as" is really, "not so much":

We, the thirteen members of the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission, unanimously issue this final report, containing a set of recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature of the State of New Jersey. After eighteen public meetings, 26 hours of oral testimony and hundreds of pages of written submission from more than 150 witnesses, this Commission finds that the separate categorization established by the Civil Union Act invites and encourages unequal treatment of same-sex couples and their children. In a number of cases, the negative effect of the Civil Union Act on the physical and mental health of same-sex couples and their children is striking, largely because a number of employers and hospitals do not recognize the rights and benefits of marriage for civil union couples.

As a result of the overwhelming evidence presented to the Commission,
we unanimously recommend that:

The Legislature and Governor amend the law to allow same-sex couples to marry;

The law be enacted expeditiously because any delay in marriage equality will harm all the people of New Jersey ...

See the link for details.

I only hope that the discussion going forward, on equal marriage in New Jersey, is conducted in a respectful, reasonable and above-all honest fashion - on all sides. No bashing of religious people, which only alienates lots of people who could be persuaded to support equal marriage. And, on the other hand, definitely no arguments such as were raised in favor of Proposition 8 in California, that "they're going to teach your children to be gay".



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