Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The best news the GOP's heard all week

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ordered the state legislature to enact a plan providing full civil union benefits to gay and lesbian couples, though none dare call it marriage. From today's opinion:

Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this State, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our State Constitution. With this State’s legislative and judicial commitment to eradicating sexual orientation discrimination as our backdrop, we now hold that denying rights and benefits to committed same-sex couples that are statutorily given to their heterosexual counterparts violates the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1. To comply with this constitutional mandate, the Legislature must either amend the marriage statutes to include same-sex couples or create a parallel statutory structure, which will provide for, on equal terms, the rights and benefits enjoyed and burdens and obligations borne by married couples. We will not presume that a separate statutory scheme, which uses a title other than marriage, contravenes equal protection principles, so long as the rights and benefits of civil marriage are made equally available to same-sex couples. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to samesex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.

Do you hear that sound? It's Karl Rove, tap-dancing his way down to James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" here in the final weeks before the election. While I am 95% happy with this decision -- they should just call it marriage already -- it would have been nice for the NJ Supreme Court to wait three friggin' weeks to announce its decision. This will motivate the base.

Democratic counter? Every time Republicans mention the ruling, drop in a Foley reference, then proceed immediately to talk about Iraq, and how Iraq is 100 times more important an issue.


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