46 thoughts on “Congratulations New Jersey

  1. Excellent!

    It’s good that Gov. Christie dropped the challenge, presumably because the way the NJ Supreme Court denied the request to temporarily prevent same-sex marriages made it damn clear what their final ruling would be.

    Of course, to cover his butt for 2016, Christie rolled out the garbage line that he “… strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people …”. Which carefully ignores the fact that this sort of judgement is part of the *job* of the judiciary branch.

  2. Combatting bigotry one state at a time. I love the post you pointed to, and I would add (if I could remember where it was) the post where you talk about the importance of the marriage license and how casually we priveleged folk stuff it in a box somewhere. That point stuck with me and made me want to go dig out my marriage license. I still haven’t gotten around to getting it framed, though.

  3. Were I not married already (Washington), I would totally go to New Jersey just to have (Senator Elect) Cory Booker do the honors.
    Wait… maybe this is all some sneaky way to boost New Jersey’s tourism? Beat’s their previous “Hey, we got rid of Jersey Shore, what more do you want?” slogan.

  4. 14 down, 36 to go…. But you know, that’s SO much more than I expected by this point that I am simply gobsmacked by the awesomeness of it all. W00t to New Jersey, and joyful felicitations to all who are able to marry today thanks to the NJ State Supreme Court!

    Oh, and Mr. Scalzi, you went and got me all misty-eyed when I read the post you linked. Thanks for reminding me why I married my spouse – and for reminding me how very privileged I was to be able to do so. Hopefully that privilege will become universal in my lifetime.

  5. So that’s New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. C’mon, Pennsylvania, what’s holding you back? I’m being put in the uncomfortable position of being impressed with New Jersey, here.

  6. From a guy in New Jersey: FINALLY!!!!! We are now known for something better than “Jersey Shore”.

  7. As a Mass. Resident I’ve needled a Jersey friend over this, but I’m seriously happy for her state. Almost as happy as I was for her marriage to an amazing woman back before New Jersey figured their shit out, or when they welcomed their beautiful son. Hopefully, by the time he’s old enough to pick whomever he wants to spend the rest of his life with, they can do so in any of the fifty. Especially as that gives him more options when he rightfully chooses to flee New Jersey.

  8. Especially as that gives him more options when he rightfully chooses to flee New Jersey.

    Hey, we’re not that bad! We have great birds here, and the World Series of Birding, and a rather nice orchestra with the nicest staff in the world at the concert hall, and…a statewide train system…and Jersey Shore.

    Actually, you might be right.

  9. @Floored: As someone whose state regularly get’s (sometimes justifiably) picked on, I feel ya. Go New Jersey!

  10. @Floored: to emphasize the niceness of the NJSO, it was the orchestra the Neeme Järvi took for a few years when he wanted to relax without completely quitting.

    And if you want achievements… heh. Edison would have been enough for a state our size, but no, we had to add on Bell Labs.

    Now, Pennsylvania, to where I’ve been transplanted. What’s up with us? PA is kind of like the US in miniature. Liberal east and west, and conservative middle. And the US isn’t there yet.

    Anyway, way to go NJ!

  11. We do have some awesome birds–I picked up Gull-billed Tern in Forsythe-Brigantine in May. Now THAT was an awesome sighting.

  12. @Floored by Scalzi’s awesomeness: Hey, we’re not that bad!

    …and we have a winner in the New Jersey State Motto Contest.

    Seriously, New Jerseyites, good on you.

  13. As marriage equality spreads, I’ve been heartened to hear about local municipalities opening there doors to marry people at 12:01 AM. There have been hold-outs here and there, but they seem to be notable exceptions to the rule.

    Cory Booker carried on with what is becoming something of a trend–reports say that he started tearing up and had to take a moment after marrying his first same-sex couple, proving that he really is the nicest mayor in America. :)

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/21/238950200/tears-of-joy-as-same-sex-marriages-begin-in-new-jersey

  14. Congratulations. I forget who said this but one indicator of the quality of life in a city (or elsewhere) is how well the gay population is treated. I agree with this as I strongly believe that gays and lesbians make positive contributions to society as a whole that is way out of proportion to their numbers. My wife and I have been together for almost 30 years and I still remember the gay couples who lived in our neighbourhood in Toronto and how much we learned from them about how to make a marriage work.

  15. So glad to see this. Congrats to New Jersey and all the soon to be married couples there. I’m really hoping that we’re headed towards a time when the objections to universal marriage rights are seen as hopelessly out of touch in all states.

  16. @Bearpaw — the irony is that Christie’s statement about the Court’s interfering in the process of the elected officials totally ignores the fact that marriage equality would already have been law in NJ excepting for his veto pen. The elected legislature of NJ said they wanted it, to the point of being very close to a veto override.

  17. Thank you.

    Yay! I can get married now!

    Um…well, there is a small matter of finding the guy. Hard now to believe I once thought that would be the easy part! I’m pretty unlikely to find a partner at this point, but I’m really happy for the people who’ve been waiting, and people who now will not have to.

    About Chris Christie: He is now, always has been, and always will be a homophobic asshole, but at least he knows when he’s lost. And while he’s quite willing to spend taxpayer money for nothing but his own political advantage (he held the special election for Senate on a Wednesday in October so he wouldn’t have to be on the same ballot as Cory Booker, at a cost of $24 million), he’s not willing to spend it just to look like a complete clown. That puts him way above the Tea Party assholes in Washington, who did exactly that.

    About Cory Booker: Yeah, there are some problems with him. But damn he’s lovable. And he really, actually cares about other people. The worst thing about him going to the Senate is that he won’t be in New Jersey as much. Also, Floored, the GOP knew they couldn’t get New Jersey to send a Republican to the Senate (despite the weirdness of our having a GOP Governor), so they put up a total wacko to run against Booker. I mean, the guy said out loud that he’d’ve voted against Sandy aid!*

    About New Jersey: Yeah, we’re used to being the butt of jokes, ever since Ben Franklin called us “a keg tapped at both ends.” And being the most densely-populated state (with the top four most densely-populated municipalities, one of which I live in) has its challenges. But in addition to what others have said, New Jersey tomatoes in season are the best I’ve ever had anywhere, including the ones my mom grew in the garden back in Michigan and the ones I have in California when I visit her now; we’re not called the Garden State as a joke, as some might think. Someone did mention Bell Labs, where cell phones were first developed and the cosmic background radiation was discovered. And anyone from the Backward 36 will get a sneer from me next time they joke about New Jersey!

    *It’s not the position that’s wacky here, reprehensible as it is. It’s the fact that he said that while campaigning for office in New Jersey. It led some to doubt that he was even trying to get elected. Of course, he’s a Koch head, so who knows.

  18. @ Xopher: I have to disagree with you on Christie. You can read what he’s done a lot of ways, but I don’t really think that he’s a homophobic asshole. He definitely has an eye for the presidency, but I think that he’s smart enough to see that too much opposition to marriage equality will bite him in the ass. He’s playing a really smooth hand right now–language and actions that portray him as the beaten crusader whose noble homophobic charge got shot down by the evil libruls, but that he can easily flip-flop on for the general election.

    That’s the way it comes off to me, anyway. I see a guy who’s in the doghouse with his party’s base, who knows that he has to tack right to get nominated and then tack hard left to get elected. He’s probably not going to complain too hard about this ruling in the future.

  19. Another NJer here, glad we finally joined the ranks of the rest of the northeast with marriage equality (yes, I’m ignoring PA).

    @Floored – I tend to agree with Xopher on Christie being homophobic. His comments after the USSC ruling on DOMA, his comments recently about how if one of his kids came out to him as gay, he’d give them a hug and then explain that they shouldn’t be able to get married because that’s for heteros only, etc. I don’t see him flipping on this if he becomes the Republican nominee for president, he’s not really known for waffling like that.

  20. Hey, Floored, we must be almost neighbors. I live in Cape May county and work down in Cape May during the summer. Yep, Booker seems to be a decent guy. I was already planning on voting for him when Mr Tea Party brought Sarah ‘don’t confuse me with the truth’ Palin in to back him. Meh. Gov Christie is trying to have it both ways, though, which isn’t going to help him. I’m one of those folks who never have been able to figure out how letting same sex marriage become legal is going to hurt my hetero one… Personally the occasional celebrity who gets drunk, gets married, and then gets divorced in a week or less is a far worse role model than the homosexual couple who has been together for years and now has a chance to make their union completely legal.

  21. Actually, I’m up in Sussex County, and I’d have voted for Rush Holt if I had been able to (curse you, 2014! Why couldn’t you come one year sooner?). Not that I have anything at all against Cory Booker–he’s a nice guy, a good guy, and a smart guy; I just really wanted a genuine rocket scientist in the Senate.

    As my mother said, it was great to have a choice between two highly intelligent, competent, likable people in the Democratic primary. Of course, in the general election…I mean, I saw the sample ballot, and it wasn’t pretty. There were like 8 wingnuts/Birchers/homophobes/general idiots running under tickets like “Joe the Plumber Party”, “No Amnesty”, and so forth. Ees. At least we got a decent guy.

  22. Ah, here we go. From Wikipedia:

    Major party candidates
    Steve Lonegan (Republican), former Mayor of Bogota, former State Director of Americans for Prosperity and candidate for Governor in 2005 and 2009
    Cory Booker (Democratic), Mayor of Newark
    Other candidates
    Robert Depasquale, Independent
    Eugene M. LaVergne, D-R Party
    Stuart D. Meissner, Alimony Reform Now
    Pablo Olivera, Unity is Strength
    Antonio N. Sabas, Freedom of Choice
    Edward C. Stackhouse, Jr., Ed the Barber

    Someone ran under the “Ed the Barber” party ticket. I shit you not.

    The scariest part? Lonegan got 44.2 percent of the vote. There are 584,349 people in this state who voted for a Tea Party nut whose main endorser thinks that Africa is a country.

  23. Dragging America, kicking and screaming, one state at a time, into the modern age.

    huzzah!

    Next on the agenda: horseless-carriages and the gold standard.

  24. Floored, who acts like a homophobic asshole IS a homophobic asshole. It doesn’t matter if in his heart he truly doesn’t hate gay people. It doesn’t matter one whit. He’s willing to throw us under the bus to make points with his asshole constituents. So he is a homophobic asshole.

    This sort of thing is phenomenological. You can’t portray it without being it.

    Also, Ed Stackhouse Jr. IS “Ed the Barber.” I’d love to find out how he got on the ballot. Maybe his barbering customers circulated a petition.

    Of course, his cousin Sookie down in Louisiana may have had something to do with it too.

  25. @ Xopher: Point. I’ve seen plenty of people bend over backwards for politics, though; power’s addictive, and it takes a really strong person to resist the temptation to pander.

    On Ed the Barber: Dude, it’s still hilarious. And how did he get in as a candidate, anyway?

  26. Floored by: as understandable (from a political schoomzy viewpoint) Gov. Christie’s actions may be (he wants to snag the Repub. nomination for President),I’m going to be very certain to remind everyone come 2016 that Christie is happy to throw vulnerable minorities under a bus, and he lacks empathy. I have no tolerance for politicians who believe that some people are created more equal than others. On a happier note, CONGRATS NJ from WA, welcome to the exclusive club! :)

  27. @Floored: If it looks like a homophobic bile-spewing bigot and pontificates against gay marriage like a homophobic bile-spewing bigot, people are going to feel confident in the assumption that he is a homophobic bile-spewing bigot… And if he’s just parroting the rhetoric for a boost in votes, despite the fact that homophobic rhetoric can lead and has led to anti-gay violence, he’s also morally bankrupt.

    Even if he isn’t a homophobe, he’s helping to enable the next Aaron McKinney or Russel Hendersson.

    (Also, how do you tell your daughter that you love her, just not enough to respect her life choices or regard her as a human being? What the fuck is WRONG with someone if they think that’s somehow a reasonable statement?)

  28. @ Rens, Ontogenesis: Good points. I guess we’re dealing with a slightly different breed of homophobe here.

    Not the frothing douchebag Bryan Fisher-style hatemonger, but a more passive-aggressive kind.

  29. I was discussing marriage equality with someone, yesterday, and she suggested that perhaps Republicans would “evolve” on the issue, as many Democrats have. My counterpoint was that fewer Republicans than Democrats believe in evolution, and even those who do are afraid to say the word, for fear of losing the God, Gays, and Guns vote. It’s difficult to evolve when you don’t believe in the concept, I think.

  30. Who do we think is next? Hawaii? Illinois? (Maybe New Mexico, actually, though that’s a very special case since they are enacting it piecemeal: same-sex marriage already exists in several counties.)

    I’d say Oregon or Nevada, but they’re both slowed down by the existence of constitutional bans enacted during the early panic period. Oregon has started working around it by fully recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages, so same-sex couples who want to get married there basically have to make a road trip.

  31. …As for New Jersey, according to some polls, popular support for legalizing same-sex marriage was the highest there of *any* state, even including Massachusetts. It was always kind of absurd that it wasn’t one of the first in line.

    Christie’s complaint about interference with the decisions of elected officials was, I suppose, technically legitimate only in that he himself is an elected official: the people of New Jersey disagreed with him about same-sex marriage, but not strongly enough to vote him out. He can’t claim to be enacting the will of the people, of course.

    But the activists who were working to override his veto tended to avoid will-of-the-people arguments; they always said that basic human rights shouldn’t be granted or withheld by majority plebiscite, and protecting rights of minorities from a hostile majority is part of constitutional government. They were reluctant to put it to the referendum that Christie said he wanted when he vetoed the legislature’s bill, in part because, at that time, same-sex marriage had never actually won a state referendum. Now, of course, it has won several, and it’s clear that it would win one in New Jersey. But they won’t have to go through that.

  32. To those arguing about whether Chris Christie actually is a homophobic asshole or just a cynical politico seizing on a popular-to-his-base item – ever heard of a writer named “Orson Scott Card”?

    He once claimed (and I can’t remember it was just to Tammy, to both Tammy and Bruce Coville both, or in a panel where he was on with both Tammy and Bruce) that honestly he didn’t care one way or the other about gay marriage – but he wanted to move ahead in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so that demanded he be publicly homophobic! Oddly, he didn’t understand why that somehow wasn’t reassuring….

  33. Oh, and because somebody should make the Teabagger/DudeBro False Equivalence of “What’s Next – Marrying Animals?”: I would FAR rather marry one of my cats than one of the DudeBros.

    For one thing – they’re much cuter, and they at least have good hygiene! >:)

  34. > Someone did mention Bell Labs, where cell phones were first developed and the cosmic background radiation was discovered

    How about the TRANSISTOR and the LASER?
    The bases of modern electronics and optics were built there.

  35. Christie is trying to be the “good republican” by being a gay-bashing homophobe. Just like he’s trying to be the “good republican” by bashing teachers, killing transit projects that might affect our state’s unemployment level, and dragging his feet on medical marijuana. He’s trying to consolidate power (cause that’s all he cares about) by pandering to the republican base, while trying to tiptoe the line to appeal to independents and conservative democrats. I can only hope that things have gotten bad enough that people notice that someone who does things he “has to do” to keep power is STILL DOING THOSE THINGS.

    Regardless of his status as a “moderate” republican, he is still making life miserable for others. Afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable; regardless of whether you “mean it”, it’s still reprehensible behavior. I only hope that something happens in the next few weeks to derail his second coronation, cause I don’t think Buono is going to win no matter how much I want her to.

    tl:dr – My momma always said, “Republican is as republican does” And he does, so he is.

  36. Congratulations to New Jersey, all the newlyweds, and everyone who finally can get married.

    Same-sex marriage has been legal in my jurisdiction for 10 years now, and so far, the sky has not fallen and the world has not ended. Are you shocked?

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