TRENTON, N.J. (BP)–A leading liberal scholar says it’s just a “matter of time” before New Jersey legalizes “gay marriage” and that despite a series of recent legal losses nationwide, advocates of redefining marriage are in it “for the long haul.”
Ed Stein, professor of law at the Cardozo School of Law in New York, made the comments in an interview with the homosexual magazine Advocate. Stein called the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Oct. 25 decision an “incredibly good result” although he lamented that the justices didn’t go ahead and legalize “gay marriage.” The justices instead gave the legislature the option of legalizing either “gay marriage” or Vermont-style civil unions.
“Even if New Jersey just has civil unions, it’s only a matter of time — unless there’s a federal amendment to the U.S. Constitution — until the state recognizes same-sex marriage,” Stein said. “Now, it may be 50 years, but I really think that eventually this is a battle we’re going to win.”
Stein quoted Rep. Barney Frank, D.-Mass., as saying “once people see gay people in relationships and see that the world doesn’t explode … they will just get used to it.” That has happened in Massachusetts and Vermont, Stein said.
One of the main goals of activists, Stein said, is the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act — the 1996 law that prohibits the federal government from recognizing “gay marriage” and gives states the option of doing the same. The New Jersey decision will help in that objective, he said.
“I’m inclined to say that if we can get civil unions in a bunch of states, then we start building pressure in the long run for marriage and to change DOMA,” Stein said. “We’re in this for the long haul, because even if we get marriage benefits in a few other states, there’s still a lot of problems. Even if you’re married in Massachusetts today, you might be transferred to Ohio tomorrow, and then your marriage isn’t worth anything.”
Meanwhile, it appears more and more likely that New Jersey legislators will legalize civil unions, and not “gay marriage” as homosexual activists want. While that would be a setback for activists, it nonetheless would place New Jersey alongside three other states — California, Connecticut and Vermont — that offer all the legal benefits of marriage to homosexual couples.
Civil unions essentially are “marriage” without the name.
“It’s more likely to be civil unions,” state Senate President Richard J. Codey, a Democrat, told the Associated Press.
But Codey added that a civil unions law might only be a short-term fix. Democrats control both chambers.
“I think the public will be all right with civil unions and I think down the road … in another six, seven years we may very well see ‘gay marriage’ enacted in the state of New Jersey,” Codey told WCBS radio, according to Gannett News Service.
Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine said he prefers civil unions, although he also said he would not have a big problem if a bill legalizing “gay marriage” passed the legislature.
“While he believes in the traditional definition of marriage, the governor hopes the legislature will deal with this issue in an expeditious manner,” Corzine spokesman Anthony Coley said, according to the Press of Atlantic City. “His preference is for civil unions, but if the legislature approves the term ‘gay marriage’ in this context, he would not veto it.”
Homosexual activists, though, aren’t giving up.
“This is New Jersey — we know how to fight. We’ve turned legislators around before,” Garden State Equality chair Steven Goldstein, was quoted as saying in a Detroit News column.
Former Democratic Gov. James McGreevey says he’s ready to “marry” his male partner. McGreevey resigned in 2004 amidst a homosexual affair.
CONFUSION OVER COLO. CANDIDATE’S STANCE — Three Democratic candidates in gubernatorial elections this year openly support “gay marriage” legalization — California’s Phil Angelides, Massachusetts’ Deval Patrick and New York’s Eliot Spitzer. But a fourth Democrat — Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter — announced his support for “gay marriage” two months ago, only to back off the next day.
In an interview with The Denver Post, Ritter said, “The [Colorado] statute says marriage is between a man and a woman. You know, if a bill came to my desk to change that statute, though, I would sign it — that changes the definition of it.”
Asked whether he would support “marriage” between two men, Ritter said he didn’t want to answer a hypothetical question, then added, according to The Post, “It depends on what the bill says. I would entertain changing it, is what I’m saying.”
Ritter further stated he was “in a different place on this issue than” his opponent — Republican Bob Beauprez, who opposes “gay marriage.”
But the next day, Ritter said he wanted to clarify his statement, saying he opposes “gay marriage” but would consider supporting civil unions, The Post reported. The headline to The Post read, “Ritter hedges on gay nuptials.”
Colorado citizens will vote on a proposed constitutional marriage amendment Election Day.
IS HILLARY CLINTON EVOLVING? — Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has long said she believes marriage is between a man and a woman, but in an appearance before three dozen or so homosexual leaders in New York, she left some doubts. As reported by the Gay City News, Clinton re-stated her support for civil unions and even her support for the Defense of Marriage Act. But she also stated no position as to whether legislators in her home state, New York, should legalize “gay marriage.”
“I think that it should be in the political process and people make a decision and if our governor and our legislature support marriage in New York, I’m not going to be against that,” she said, according to the Gay City News. She further told the leaders that over the years, her advocacy on homosexual issues “has certainly evolved.”
ABC News asked her spokesperson if Clinton would support a “gay marriage” bill is she were in the state legislature.
“She’s not going to answer a hypothetical like that,” spokeswoman Jennifer Hanley said.
Homosexual activist Ethan Geto liked what he heard from Clinton.
“I think when you look at Senator Clinton’s record, she may not agree with us on every last policy issue, but when you look at the totality of the record, there is no one in this country who may be the president of the United States with whom we have a warmer, a stronger, a closer productive working relationship,” he said, according to Gay City News.
For more information about the national debate over “gay marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage