Thursday, February 16, 2012
Governor Awesome and the gay marriage problem
My favorite governor, New Jersey's Chris Christie, has promised to veto the bill heading to desk that would authorize marriage among gays in the Garden State. Kirk Petersen ably describes the political problem this poses for Christie, whose position on gay marriage is barely distinguishable from President Obama's. The big difference is that most people -- both supporters and critics of the president -- assume Obama is lying, and that Christie is telling the truth. It is of course up for you to decide whether you want a president who is assumed to be lying with regard to a moral question of interest to a huge proportion of Americans, or not.
As Kirk points out, the bill does put Christie in a damned-if-he-does, or doesn't, position, which makes me wonder whether the surge in support for the law among Democrats in New Jersey's state legislature does not have something to do with payback.
In any case, my longstanding point of view is that I support gay marriage by democratic means, and oppose it by judicial fiat. Accordingly, I respectfully request Governor Christie to change his mind and sign the bill in to law. I think he owes me that much, if for no other reason than I may well have invented the "Governor Awesome" moniker.
And while I'm at it, Guv, wrong call on this one, too.
No worries -- I still love you, man -- just wishing you had played these differently.
By Kirk Petersen, at Thu Feb 16, 02:03:00 PM:
Thanks for the kind words, TigerHawk. For a while I got in the habit of calling Christie "Governor Awesome," with credit to you. But I have enough gay friends that I just can't use that term any longer, certainly not on marriage equality posts.
By Ethan, at Thu Feb 16, 10:45:00 PM:
"In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Christie did campaign “as a hard-line, stop-at-nothing-to-derail-it opponent” of marriage equality. He went beyond merely promising to veto it — he promised to support a state constitutional amendment banning it."
And somehow he got elected anyway.
By Kirk Petersen, at Fri Feb 17, 06:57:00 AM:
Fair point, Ethan. But public opinion is shifting. The state senate that easily defeated same-sex marriage two years ago just easily passed it.
Quickly comparing the roll calls, three Democrats who voted "no" last time voted "yes" this time and three Dem abstentions last time voted "yes" as well. By comparison one Republican flipped and another showed up this time to vote yes (unlike last time when she just didn't show). Just going by the respective Senate votes, it looks more like a shift in political priorities within the Democratic party than a shift in public opinion.
By Viking Kaj, at Mon Feb 20, 09:38:00 AM:
It is hugely interesting that the gay interest in marriage is peaking just as the straight population totally looses interest.
As a result, I have the sneaking suspicion that the Family Law Bar has its hand in this somewhere.
I'm waiting for the first gay person to complain about their alimony payments. That will be rich. Coming soon to a courtroom near you.