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New Jersey gay couples sue for the right to marry

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  1. ooer missus 29 Jun 2011, 12:30pm

    Shocking that one man has the power to overrule the legislature and deny human rights to a minority because of personal prejudice. Can he be recalled?

    1. Shocking that one man with his, what are basically biblical ideas about the definition of marriage, can impose his view on everyone else, Marriage equality is coming however hard these backward people dig their feet in. I was particlarly annoyed by the previous PN article on same topic where governor Chris Christie says something like gay people have the same right to marry a person of the opposite sex as anyone else, if they choose to reject that then we have civil partnerships are for them…nonsense of course, but then these Christian homophobes don’t believe gays are real , they think everyone is straight and that gay people make a choice to be gay.
      Certainly hope Chris Christie is called to court by the plaintiffs and made to justify his reasons for rejecting marriage it will be really interesting to see what evidence he produces he his defence.

      1. Alf N. Spit 29 Jun 2011, 7:48pm

        There is more of a case for banning some one who is gay from marrying someone of the opposite sex as they are essentially perpetrating a fraud and potentially ruining the spouse’s life. There is no case for banning them from marrying someone of the same sex.

  2. That’s the injustice of the American state government system. I’m glad we don’t have it in the UK. One man having the absolute power to decide who is entitled to rights to me just isn’t democracy, not when a bill has been overwhelmingly approved for passage in a state’s assembly. If New York had not had a democratic Governor, marriage equality would have been doomed to failure by a republican governor vetoing it. Appalling when you think of it. In a democracy rights should always be expanded, not taken away, even if some may not personally agree with it.

    1. de Villiers 29 Jun 2011, 7:48pm

      > One man having the absolute power to decide who is entitled to rights to me just isn’t democracy,

      What about a panel of five or seven judges who have the same power? This properly is a matter for the electorate and their elected assemblies rather than the courts and the judges.

    2. de Villiers 29 Jun 2011, 7:48pm

      > One man having the absolute power to decide who is entitled to rights to me just isn’t democracy,
      .
      What about a panel of five or seven judges who have the same power? This properly is a matter for the electorate and their elected assemblies rather than the courts and the judges.

      1. Alf N. Spit 29 Jun 2011, 7:53pm

        America’s democratic institutions are just way out of date, the president is just an elected 18th century monarch, no one else in the executive is even elected except his deputy!

        As for the judges, they are there to protect unpopular minorities from the tyranny of the majority.

    3. Jock S. Trap 30 Jun 2011, 7:48am

      Indeed!
      That such a country has become so divide by the subject of marriage Equality, is sad and disturbing.

      While one part of the country encourages and positively advocates this Equality another does all it can to ban it, even if it does go against the wishes of it’s voters.

      For a country that has been more than eager to show it’s military strength ya’d think that whom loves whom would be a simple matter to be positive and cheer to.

  3. Do they have enough votes to override his Veto?

  4. Martin Lawrence 29 Jun 2011, 2:39pm

    Isn’t it just one of the many contradictions of American political life (as opposed to the many contradictions of British political life, which just happen to be different) that a country which sets such store by the separation of church and state can give one person effectively dictatorial power to impose his own views on a whole state, including views born of religion?

    1. Alf N. Spit 29 Jun 2011, 11:59pm

      They are elected monarchs with real power, they just haven’t updated the model

  5. Pavlos, no matter if it the case is heard in the state’s supreme court, a state’s legislature must approve any bill on both sides of the aisle. A governor must sign it or let it become law without signature or disapprove it, similar to the mechanics of Congress. The legislature apparently needs two thirds of the vote to override a veto. I doubt if any republican government would agree to it.

    1. marjangles 29 Jun 2011, 2:52pm

      It the courts order it he would have little choice, the same thing happened in Massachusetts when Mitt Romney was governor and in Connecticut when Jodi Rell was governor. Both would have vetoed state legislature bills legalising same-sex marriage but they had no choice but to comply with the court orders.

      1. David Myers 1 Jul 2011, 11:55am

        When the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage, rightwing teapartiers went on the war path and defeated three of the seven judges in the next election. The orininal decision was unanimous so now such a vote, if revisited, would likely still be decided favorably by a 4 to 3 vote. The Justices serve staggered, eight-year terms. One is up for re-election in 2012 and three more in 2016. The 2012 election will no doubt feature another attempt to replace that justice with another anit-gay marriage justice. Iowa is a very conservative state except in the two university towns and the the capital city – Des Moines.

  6. Jane Clare Pawling 29 Jun 2011, 2:58pm

    The usage “opposite sex” should be reframed as “appropriate sex”. A problem with too many of us Yanks is that they prefer absolutes; “opposite sex” is such an absolute construct, which restricts very thought to the heterosexual mindset. Contrast that to the relativity of “appropriate sex”, which begs to be qualified thus: “the sex of the Other that is appropriate to oneself”. Such thinking is unnatural to those people. Unfortunately, the so-called “dumbing-down” of the population of the USA is too on target. Further, it should be unthinkable that a state’s governor would abuse his veto power, based on his personal (religious) opinion of what should be a divil right. Unfortunately, there is no hope of recalling that governor for that reason, for there are too many religious people in New Jersey; but great idea, that.

    1. Excellent point made JCP.

  7. All power to these couples. The battle for the rights of minorities faced with indifferent or hostile majorities so often begins in the courts – the struggle against racial segregation in the US began the same way.

  8. marjangles, I wonder if the same premise by the courts will win in California, now that two consecutive decisions by the courts have ruled that upholding Prop. 8 is unconstitutional? I’m not so sure it will even get to the Supreme Court of the U.S., so what will happen now before Prop. 8 is offiically overturned.

    1. marjangles 29 Jun 2011, 7:32pm

      The confusing thing is the two different court processes in the US. In MA, CT and IA and also in CA the first time round, it was the courts of those states that ruled. In CA this time it is the federal (ie national) courts that are involved and that process takes forever. The court of appeal directly above Walker has ruled that marriage licences for same sex couples will not be issued until the whole court process has been gone through.

      1. marjangles 29 Jun 2011, 7:37pm

        Just to add, the reason why none of this happened in MA, CT and IA is because it’s much more difficult to hold a referendum in those states to change the constitution. In CA, changing the state constituion is actually quite easy.

        1. Alf N. Spit 30 Jun 2011, 12:30am

          Which is what makes it quite worthless.

  9. marjangles, now that Judge Walker’s decision to vacate Prop. 8 has been upheld by another court decision, if it doesn’t get to the Supreme Court, would that mean that Judge Walker’s decision becomes defacto law, allowing same-sex marriages to resume?

    1. marjangles 29 Jun 2011, 7:28pm

      It’s a bit more complicated than that. In theory same sex marriage licences should have begun being issued again as soon as Walker delivered his decision but the superior court decided to put a hold on that until appeals had been heard. The first appeal made was that, since Walker is gay, he was biased in striking down prop 8. The courts have thrown out this argument.

      The next step is whether or not anyone has the right to appeal Walker’s decision, other than the Governor and Attorney General of California, both of whom have said they won’t appeal. If the court finds that no one else has the right of appeal then same sex marriages will probably resume almost immediately since the court process would be done. They probably should rule in this way but who knows!

      However, if the court finds that others do have the standing to appeal then the appeals will need to be heard and there could be an awfully long time until a decision is finally made.

      1. de Villiers 29 Jun 2011, 7:52pm

        That is a real problem when rights such as this depend upon judges rather than parliaments or elected assemblies. If a ruling of a superior court is required to know if something is or is not lawful, as opposed to the making of the law by the parliament or congress, then people cannot properly order their affairs without the risk that a judge will overturn long settled arrangements. It seems to me less common for parliaments or congresses to overturn their own laws then for judges to declare them void.

        1. Alf N. Spit 29 Jun 2011, 8:04pm

          The situation only really arises when laws are badly or ambiguously drawn up by politicians, or are in breach of other more fundamental laws, or where an old law requires to be interpreted according to changed social circumstances.

        2. marjangles 29 Jun 2011, 8:35pm

          Ideally yes, decisions would be made by the legislatures and indeed CT, MA and IA have all passed legislation which brings there marriage laws into line with the rulings of their supreme courts. The problem is that the state legislatures are not making the decisions necessary to grant marriage equality either because they can’t or they won’t. So what do you do, sit back and hope they’ll change their minds?

          The courts are a perfectly viable way of changing the law in the US if those who are elected won’t do so. Remember that the US has a constitution which is supreme and the courts are empowered to rule on whether or not something is constitutional. Legislatures don’t always care whether a law is constitutional or not, they just hope it’s popular.

  10. Video testimony from John & Danny, one of the couples involved in the New Jersey law suit.

    http://tinyurl.com/3l6yhyg

  11. Rich (original) 29 Jun 2011, 8:47pm

    Political idiots – and nothing more…

  12. Marjangles, thanks somuch for explaining all of that, I appreciate it.

    de Villiers, I tend to agree with you. It’s very rare when a parliament overturns laws, especially on civil issues. I think its a lot more effective and efficient under a parliamentary system and representative of the people than the courts are. Laws passed in parliaments affect an entire nation, not just a region, district or state. A much fairer system I think.

    1. Alf N. Spit 30 Jun 2011, 12:03am

      What? Every law that parliament passes changes a previous law in some way!

      1. Alf N. Spit 30 Jun 2011, 12:35am

        Robert your comment is meaningless drivel. Do educate yourself on our constitutional system.

  13. Jock S. Trap 30 Jun 2011, 7:43am

    Good and I hope they win.

    It never ceases to amaze me what lengths religious types will go to, to stop two consenting adults being together just because they happen to be of the same sex.

    Then they try and preach they are about love…

    What a joke.

    Aren’t these the same people who wish to do battle with us to keep their Freedoms?

    To them War, Fine, Love, Bad!!

  14. Alf n Spit….point to where I said that please. Enough with the condescension!

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