Marriage-equality is in the way to becoming the norm in American society. On October 21 New Jersey became the 14th state to recognize same-sex marriage when Governor Chris Christie dropped his challenge of a court ruling mandating New Jersey allow same-sex couples to marry (same-sex civil union was previously allowed). Today fully one-third of United States residents now live in a state that recognizes same-sex unions. Lest we take for granted the advance in social justice and the recognition of human-rights in this country, we put the advance in New Jersey in context by noting the struggle of the LGBTQ community elsewhere. – Ed.
Unequal states of equality
Christie Drops Opposition; New Jersey legalizes marriage equality. (From Huffington Post.) “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he disagrees with it, but he will comply with a state Supreme Court ruling that makes same-sex marriage legal in the state starting Monday. Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak says in a statement that the governor “firmly believes that this determination should be made by all the people of the state of New Jersey.” But he says the state Health Department will help towns carry out Friday’s state Supreme Court ruling.
The court denied the Christie administration’s request to delay a lower-court order that the state recognize same-sex marriage beginning Monday.
Excerpt of the statement from the Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, “Today, New Jersey becomes the 14th state to allow marriage equality ensuring equal rights for its citizens. It is a historic day and a victory for all who support justice and equality… New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s decision to drop his appeal against the court ruling is just another indication that marriage equality is here to stay. As always, Unitarian Universalists will continue to stand on the side of love, and we look forward to the day when marriage equality is the right of all families.” Read the full statement here.
City Mayor (and Senator-elect from New Jersey) Cory Booker talks down a heckler while officiating at same-sex marriage ceremony noting that he must “do this by law”…In response, a heckler jumped up and began shouting, “This is unlawful in the eyes of God!” Booker had the protestor removed then responded by stating, “Not hearing any substantive, worthy objections, I now will proceed.” Read the full story and watch the video on Huffington Post. Also, photos reflecting the diversity of same-sex couples married as of 12:01 AM, Monday, October 21 by Mayor Booker. (From the Huffington Post)
In Montenegro, supporters of gay-rights, “…staged their first gay pride march on Sunday (October 20, 2013. – Ed.) in the capital under heavy police guard, part of the Balkan state’s efforts to bolster its application to join the European Union by showing its commitment to human rights.” Read the full story on Huffington Post.