The New Jersey state Assembly passed the same-sex marriage bill yesterday, and today, just as Governor Chris Christie promised, he vetoed it. In the coverage I just watched on World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Christie makes these two statements, which made me absolutely livid:
“I believe that the institution of marriage is traditionally known as one man and one woman and should stay that way in New Jersey.”
“Whether or not to redefine hundreds of years of societal and religious traditions should not be decided by 121 people in the state house in Trenton.”
First of all, Christie says, “I believe….” (The emphasis on “I”) This is mistake number one. Although the opinions of our elected officials matter, they are elected to represent the majority of the people, as well as the state Senate. A veto should only occur if the bill is not in the best interest of the parties affected. Christie should have set aside his own personal beliefs and not vetoed this bill.
Secondly, “…marriage is traditionally known as one man and one woman…” is based upon biblical beliefs. What has happened to separation of church and state?
Lastly, “Whether or not to redefine hundreds of years of societal and religious traditions…” Who does Christie think he is to stop the advancement of society? Did anyone stop Lincoln from freeing the slaves? The Wright Brothers from flying? Alexander Fleming from discovering penicillin? The women who fought for Women’s Suffrage? Gay marriage is the next step of progression within our country, and Christie just took the state of New Jersey back to the dark ages.
Personally, I am not gay and definitely not homophobic. What I am is a very firm believer in equal rights. I have both family and friends who are gay and they all deserve the same rights in legal marriage as any heterosexual couple does. To be able to claim their spouse on tax forms, insurance, and everything else legal marriages provide. Since church marriages are based upon biblical beliefs, then whether or not a church decides to honor same-sex marriages is completely up to the church. Most gay couples I know are not concerned about being married in a church, all they wish of to be legally married. Plus GLBT churches are now all over the country and world which will recognize a same-sex union – but the government will not.
Christie talks out of both sides of his mouth, and provides feeble excuses for his veto. He states, “I have been just as adamant that same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples – as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits. Discrimination should not be tolerated and any complaint alleging a violation of a citizen’s right should be investigated and, if appropriate, remedied. To that end, I include in my conditional veto the creation of a strong Ombudsman for Civil Unions to carry on New Jersey’s strong tradition of tolerance and fairness.”
To which Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg responded, “Don’t be fooled by the governor’s call for a public referendum or his idea of an ombudsman for civil unions – it is nothing more than a political smoke screen designed to cover the tracks of those retreating from their leadership and lawmaking responsibilities. Civil unions have already proven to be a failure and no ombudsman can change that.”
Christie vetoed this bill completely based upon his own personal beliefs and not upon what the people want and what the state Senate passed. I would love to see the state of New Jersey gather enough signatures so they can recall Christie right along side of Scott Walker.
In closing, I would love to hear an explanation from anyone opposed to same-sex marriage to the following questions: How does a same-sex marriage of two people you do not even know affect you? Does this legal union take away any of your rights? Your job? Do you pay more in taxes? Does it affect your insurance coverage? Does it keep you from attending your own church? Does it keep your children from going to college? If you feel it is because the Bible prohibits this, then is that not up to your God to deal with them? Or are you acting as God? Please, tell me how same sex marriage directly affects your life. I would really love to know.
Chris Christie… can you answer this? Doubtful.