Monday, December 7, 2009

New Jersey Marriage Equality Hearings Begin Today!

Lately I have been hanging back from electoral or legislative processes...because the emotional rollercoaster can be too much when your emotionally involved in it....but...There are those out there who's lives and rights are on the line today. I've got both fingers crossed for the Garden state today.

However,...while I am a tad obsesive when it comes to blog reading...I can't be here all day. For up to date coverage I am linking to a live blog session at www.bluejersey.com. I will follow its progress and hopefully have something good to report afterward.

Bryan

6 comments:

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  2. Go jersey!


    The only one I know that is from over there is Kevin Smith... and he rocks XD

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  3. People in NJ NEED to find out who is representing them in their district and they NEED to flood their offices with e-mails and letters supporting marriage equality. This did not happen in NY. BUT!!! The right wingers did, which is why the reps were afraid of voting for gay marriage.
    Let's face it..there are more gay people (including friends and family) than right wing haters. Please my friends..get off your butts and fire off an e-mail!! I don't want to marry my partner of 18 years in a nursing home....

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  4. I really hope the rollback in the USA stops soon. It is incredibly horrible.

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  6. Bryan, thank you for informing us about these Hearings and linking to a site where you can track the activity! I found a link to listen the Hearings live, and I did that for 5.5 hours straight (heard almost all testimony from legal panel, clergy panel, and just gay people and gay families and other people in support and against same-sex marriage; unfortunately, due to the late hour in Russia, couldn't stay awake longer to hear lasting testimonies and Senators' debate).

    It was really informative to hear from both sides, to hear some questions, especially from Senator Cardinale as an opponent of marriage equality. It helps to understand some valid points of their position, because there are, it's no use to say that there aren't. Religious component is the big one, probably the biggest, but there are other points, other views, secular fears that have nothing to do with religions, but have everything to do with conservative traditions and a well-praised American way of life.

    On the other hand, there were shocking stories from gay families who became victims of civil union legislation: not only they ("domesticated" and then "civilized" gay couples [as someone joked prior in testimonies]) were denied health insurance for spouses and hospital visitation rights because of unclear definition of civil union and ambiguity & double standards in state & federal legislation (federal government only recognizes opposite-sex marriages after DoMA, hopefully, RFMA [Respect for Marriage Act] will pass and change the situation), but also, being "civilized" in these unions, people were compelled to out themselves at work and everywhere else you are supposed to tell the truth if they're married, single or "civilly united" — and by outing themselves, they risked being denied jobs and services they are entitled to, only because so many people are not OK with gays, and we know that no one can force you to respect people who live differently from you and who are sinners, abomination or just unnatural according to your beliefs; and this is a very serious problem: by creating a parallel structure and effectively segregating people from others, we only make it more prominent, more obvious for others to spot gays, destroying gay people's right for privacy. It's no better than a brand on slaves, or a brand on French courtesans' shoulder in 18th century France, or a band on Jews' arms with the Star of David in Nazi-occupied territories.

    Martin Luther King said that "separate but equal" did not work and will never work. No matter how much we try to make everything alike. The legislature's desire is not gonna meet the society's standards, because our society is not ready for "separate but equal," it's only ready for "separate but unequal," as history proved many times. And this is what legislature must understand. And if there is no way for two parallel structures to coexist ensuring equality, they're gonna have to choose the least of two evils: denying a huge group of people their right to be absolutely equal to everyone else; or redefining marriage by simply expanding its definition with respect to everything it was before and without taking anything away from anyone. What's more important: the tradition that can't be supported anymore in the changed reality, or real living people who have to suffer from traditionally determined discrimination? Seems like a simple choice to me: people are and always were the greatest value for the state and for the society.

    The New Jersey Senate S1967 bill passed 7-6 in lame-duck session and was released from committee to get a full vote on Thursday.

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