Log Cabin Republicans Encourage New Jersey Legislators to Support Marriage Equality
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin praises the New Jersey Supreme Court for ruling that gay and lesbian couples deserve equal rights and protections. "This decision recognizes that committed same-sex couples and their children should have the same protections and responsibilities as straight families," said Log Cabin Executive Vice President Patrick Sammon. "This common sense ruling will help create stronger families in New Jersey."
The Court ruled unanimously that committed gay couples deserve the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual married couples. "[The] unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our State Constitution," wrote Justice Barry T. Albin for the majority. Republican Governor Christine Todd Whitman appointed four of the seven justices on the Court.
This decision gives the legislature six months to decide how best to provide equality for same-sex couples. The justices reinforced the opinion of most New Jersey voters. By 56-39%, New Jersey citizens favor marriage equality, according to a February 2006 Zogby poll of 802 likely voters. "We encourage state lawmakers to support legislation to provide marriage equality," said Sammon. "Treating couples equally will make all families stronger."
"This decision proves that states are perfectly capable of handling issues of family law without federal intrusion. Federalism works," said Sammon. "States are working through this issue on their own. As Vice President Cheney said, different states will reach different conclusions about the best way to provide fairness for all citizens."
This decision in no way impacts the marriage laws in other states. Nothing in this decision will extend beyond New Jersey's border. Voters in eight states will consider anti-gay constitutional amendments next month. "This decision should not sway people in those states to vote for such bans. These mean-spirited and unnecessary amendments will weaken families by prohibiting basic protections for families," said Sammon.