26 October 2006

New Jersey Supreme Court rules in favor of equal rights for gay couples

... or something like that.

The ruling came down yesterday, and it basically mandates that the state's lawmakers must now legislate either for gay marriage or something like it (e.g., legally recognized civil unions).

On one hand, they wimped out for not ruling that banning gays from marriage is discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional. After all, this country was built on the principle that all people - not just the heterosexual ones - are created equal. To deny gay and lesbian couples the right to marry - and call it that - is to designate them as second-class citizens. That, I believe, is unconstitutional.

On the other hand, at least the Court recognized the need for equal benefits, so we should probably be grateful for this step forward.

Until 1967, interracial marriage was illegal in some of these United States. Now, almost 40 years later, nobody bats an eye, except perhaps in the most redneck of red states. Hopefully, in another 40 years, we'll be looking back at this in the same way.

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