So we won in the legislature. Then we won in the court of public opinion. And now we’ve won in the actual courts.
The inexorable march towards marriage equality took a quantum leap forward in New Jersey today as Mercer Co. Court Judge Mary Jacobson granted Garden State Equality’s request for summary judgment. This would permit municipalities to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples in New Jersey.
So, yeah, it’s a good day indeed for the LGBT community, and a rewarding victory for us and for our allies.
When I got news of Judge Jacobson’s verdict (thanks, Twitter) I was over the moon. And I couldn’t call my partner Gregory fast enough, a feat complicated by my own shaking hands (and the rapid-fire succession of reporters calling for comment.) It’s hardly surprising every journalist and their brother wants a reaction, this is after all the biggest civil rights issue of our generation. Not only is gay rights cool, it’s also totally relevant. Which is a far cry from the climate gay activists were operating in up until very recently.
Choosing a China pattern
Now as much as I’d love to pop the question and start picking out gravy boats, wedding bells will have to wait for now. Governor Chris Christie has decided to appeal the judge’s ruling, doubling down on his fight against equality. He’s promised an appeal. Not only does Christie’s vow to appeal practically confirm his intention to run for President in 2016 it also portends a rightward lurch that should characterize the rest of his time in Drumthwacket. Joy.
So, yeah, for now me and Greg’s gravy boat will wait while this case winds through the appeals process. I’d be nervous if momentum and the Constitution weren’t on my side. But that’s not the case. This ain’t a case of “times, they are a’changing.” The truth is, times HAVE CHANGED ALREADY. Take it to the bank.
Now I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I’m kinda glad Christie’s playing hardball. Not only is he spinning his wheels, wasting political capital fighting an unwinnable war, he’s also re-affirming the same tired, retrograde brand that’s come to symbolize the GOP. And the partisan liberal in me is chomping at the bit at that prospect. Because we’re about to deliver the most epic constitutional smackdown Chris Christie will ever endure. And I’m gonna enjoy every minute of it.
Let’s face it, the issue of gay marriage equality is moving at warp speed. Not only is my gravy boat in sight, there’s also more time to tarnish Chris Christie’s political future. With some luck (and karma) by the time Chris Christie arrives in Iowa in 2016, his position on gay rights will seem even more extreme.
Which is a good thing, because it’ll be proof positive that the days of the GOP gorging on gay-hate are finally over for good. And I think that calls for a little toast.
Jay Lassiter is a long-time Garden State political activist. His advocacy for gay rights and medical marijuana in New Jersey is without peer. In light of the court’s recent decision, he’s finally forced to reconcile his own commitment issues. Stay tuned.