TRENTON – It was the white flag that shocked pro and con forces in the gay marriage battle.
On Monday, the Christie administration said “no more. Drop the Supreme Court battle, drop the opposition, cut losses while we can.”
The governor told the Attorney General’s office to quit the effort to fight gay marriage after the previous week ended with the court saying it would not throw up a stop sign to gay weddings until it heard the case in January.
It stunned gay wedding advocates, who already had started holding ceremonies at the stroke of midnight.
It flabbergasted some hard-core conservatives such as Sen. Michael Doherty and traditional marriage backers who blasted an “activist’’ court and chastised the administration for giving up too soon.
But it’s a done deal: Pennsylvania is now the only Northeast state without gay marriage.
Sandy in retrospect
You knew this was looming. The one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy hits on Tuesday, and this past week lawmakers and activists began the pile-on of hurricane-related rhetoric.
Environmental groups issued report cards full of failures and incompletes to state and federal leaders on their handling of Sandy, and in particular, the rebuilding and recovery.
The problem, as they see it, is the refusal to recognize climate change as real. As a result, the state is merely fixing roads and beaches instead of planning for the future.
To address that, Democrats led by Sen. Bob Smith and Assemblywoman Grace Spencer, who head up their respective chambers’ environment committees, said this week they plan to introduce a package of bills soon to deal with issues such as funding future recoveries and making sure the people who deal with victims are properly trained.
Much has been made of the cross-currents, particularly in District 3, where Senate President Steve Sweeney is trying to fend off a challenge from Republican Nikki Trunk, and the fact that when Gov. Chris Christie treks down south, it’s to shake hands with Sweeney on their latest joint project rather than to personally knock on doors for Trunk.
Other GOP legislative leaders have supported Trunk’s efforts, but events such as Monday’s groundbreaking at Gloucester County College have people in Statehouse corridors wondering what fallout could possibly occur after Election Day if Sweeney, as expected, returns to power.
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. has boasted of taking the reins of the presidency, but could he lose leadership power altogether if the Republicans don’t win battleground districts?
No. 3 might be the most closely watched of the districts the GOP said long ago it was targeting this election season.