Daily Wisdom

October 27, 2006

Blue State Blues

TRENTON, NJ -- The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that gay couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples. The result of this landmark case is that I've just developed a case of the "Blue State Blues". I'm downright depressed. As Bugs Bunny would say... "What a revoltin' development!"

My concerns span a number of areas. First and foremost, as a Christian I am brutally affronted at the sheer audacity of the decision. I'm not really SURPRISED by it. After all, living in a "blue" state means never having (or being able) to say: "Jesus said...", or "the Bible teaches...", or even "the Founding Fathers asserted..." On the other hand, it's still a shock to think of how far our society has departed from the beliefs of those intrepid Pilgrims who braved a long sea voyage and untold hardships pioneering an unknown land in order to establish a God-fearing society in the New World. No doubt there are many such souls who are now turning over in their graves this day.

Secondly, as one who believes that the Supreme Court's role (whether a State Supreme Court or the SCOTUS) is to interpret the law and not to create it from the bench, I am again disappointed that the New Jersey Judiciary has seen fit to legislate. You can read the ruling for yourself HERE, if you like. It's straight-forward and gets right to the heart of the matter. It says that...

New Jersey's marriage laws, which were first enacted in 1912, limit marriage to heterosexual couples. The recently enacted Domestic Partnership Act explicitly acknowledges that same-sex couples cannot marry. Although today there is a national debate over whether same-sex marriages should be authorized by the states, the framers of the 1947 New Jersey Constitution could not have imagined that the liberty right protected by Article I, Paragraph 1 embraced same-sex marriage.

Therefore, one would presume that a "strict constructionist" interpretation of the New Jersey Constitution would prohibit same-sex marriages in any form. Or at least, that's the "logical" conclusion one might draw. But who's to let "Stare Decisis" stand in the way of activist judges? Who's to stand in the way of judges intent on CHANGING THE LAW rather than interpreting the law? Apparently no one...

Times and attitudes have changed. There has been a developing understanding that discrimination against gays and lesbians is no longer acceptable in this State...

And while this passage goes on to say that "the Court cannot find that the right to same-sex marriage is a fundamental right under our constitution", it strongly implies that such a right OUGHT to be there. And why? Simply because "times and attitudes have changed". Damn the Founding Fathers. Damn the framers of the 1947 New Jersey Constitution. There are no "absolutes". There are no "Ten Commandments". There is no "Right" or "Wrong". There is only the mood of the moment. What was "immoral" yesterday is "moral" today. What was "perversion" yesterday is "chic" today. It's the "in-thing"... and therefore it MUST be legal. Anyone who believes otherwise is an old-fashioned, "traditionalist", fuddy-duddy.

Which brings me to the third reason for my "Blue State Blues". On what basis did the New Jersey Supreme Court found its ruling? Why, on none other than the basis of "equal protection". Same-sex couples must be afforded the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples because they are "EQUAL" in the eyes of the law. Well... I guess, if you SAY so!?! As a judge, if that's what you believe when you sit down to hear such a case then I guess that's what you're going decide, isn't it? Especially if you don't give a damn about what they believed 40 or 50 years ago (let alone 230 years ago). After all, "times and attitudes have changed" now, haven't they? Personally, I don't think gay couples and heterosexual couples are "equal" for any number of reasons. But then, nobody asked me. In fact, those SCONJ judges didn't ask ANYONE in the State of New Jersey what they think. There was no referendum that I can recall. I didn't vote to give gays equal status.

And that brings me to the fourth reason for my "Blue State Blues". The SCONJ went so far as to "order" the NJ Legislature to change the laws...

To bring the State into compliance with Article I, Paragraph 1 so that plaintiffs can exercise their full constitutional rights, the Legislature MUST either amend the marriage statutes or enact an appropriate statutory structure within 180 days of the date of this decision. (emphasis added)

Hmmmm. Seems to me I once heard something about three co-equal branches of government... neither one having jurisdiction or power over the others. I guess that doesn't apply in the State of New Jersey? The Judiciary in New Jersey can just order the Legislature around as it sees fit. Wow! Impressive. I'll be even more depressed if the State legislators roll over and agree to do the Judiciary's bidding without telling them to go shove it!

And last but not least, my fifth reason for the "Blue State Blues". As a taxpayer, I have to pick up the tab. The tax laws clearly favor married couples. Giving gay couples all the "benefits and privileges that are afforded to married heterosexual couples" means that they will be paying less taxes than they were paying formerly. Unfortunately, state and federal expenses will not decrease when gay couples are provided with these new rights. Therefore, this decision will result in a net loss of tax revenue. Lower tax revenues means tax hikes to offset these benefits accorded to gay couples. Hence, I and my fellow old-fashioned, traditionalist, fuddy-duddy, heterosexual, Christian friends will be subsidizing with our taxpayer dollars the lifestyles of those whose values we do not agree with.

Rant over... but disallusionment persists.

15 Comments:

At 10/28/2006 12:56 AM , Blogger Beerme said...

This issue is for the voters to decide, not the judicary. It's simple, really.

Times have changed of course, but not in this respect. marriage is still marriage and gay partnerships are not. I am in favor of gays being allowed to work out legal partnerships that allow some of the benefits of marriage (insurance for partners, retirement benefits, etc.) but even these should not be equal to marriage benefits as marriage is time-honored and tradition-tested as good for society, while gay partnerships simply have not proven to be any of that and will never likely be proven to be...

 
At 10/28/2006 2:05 AM , Blogger camojack said...

Gay people are just as free to get married as straight people...to somebody of the opposite sex. In fact, when I was in the military there were quite a few people who did just that, then went their separate ways and got to live off post with their "partners". I love it (NOT!!!) when people throw that term "homophobe" out there when someone disapproves of deviancy. A phobia is a fear; one does not have to fear a thing to disapprove of same. Some may bristle at my calling homosexuality deviant. But because gay people are a minority, their lifestyle deviates from the norm, by definition. There is a small but highly vocal minority of people who wish to cause the world at large to recognize their "choice" as just another "alternative", no different from a preference for strawberry ice cream over butter pecan. The reality is, leaving ethics, morals, religious teachings, etc. out of the equation...biology alone dictates that such behavior is abnormal. A purely homosexual species would quickly die off. No, the principal reason these folks want to call it marriage is to give it some type of legal legitimacy. Which is something the majority would probably never do, given the option. So, the court decides, apparently.

For the record: I don't hate homosexuals, I know a number of very nice ones. I simply disapprove of their "choice"...but that's a whole 'nother topic.

 
At 10/28/2006 9:36 AM , Blogger Maggie said...

The really sad fact is that the majority of the people are against this.Boil it down to judicial activism.We conservatives had our heads in the sand concerning the Bench.

 
At 10/28/2006 11:01 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Beerme,
Times certainly have changed...

"But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they said to you, "In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions." It is these who set up divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit." --Jude 1:17-19

 
At 10/28/2006 11:13 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Camo,
the principal reason these folks want to call it marriage is to give it some type of legal legitimacy.

Correctomundo. And they want legitimacy in order to qualify for benefits. Dollars are involved! Do you think there would be such a big movement if dollars were NOT involved?

Gays want coverage under their partner's medical insurance as a "spouse". That's cheaper than having two separate policies. Gays want the tax benefits of "married" status. It's all about MONEY... so what else is new?

BTW, I think this qualifies as the longest comment you've ever posted here at the View... and it was worth the wait. Good one.

 
At 10/28/2006 11:16 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Maggie,
Succinct and well-said. A perfect summarization.

 
At 10/28/2006 4:25 PM , Blogger RAM said...

Hawkeye: Don't feel bad. Indiana is supposed to be a red state, yet Evan Bayh (D) IN, consistantly votes against an amendment to the Indiana constitution to ban gay marriage.

I have written him at least twice, and his form letter always says, "While I believe in the sanctity of marraige, there is NO THREAT of that happening in Indiana!"

I would write him again and say, "Not until one of the activist judges that YOU appointed while you were Governor for 8 years here puts their foot down, as was done in N.J.", but it would do no good---believe me!

Like Camo, I do NOT hate gays, as I don't hate other sinners, BUT if EITHER attends my Church and think they are not sinning and can continue in ANY sin openly, my Pastor WILL confront them, and if that doesn't work, the Elders will confront them!

I saw a few weeks back on O'Reilly where a woman was suing her Pastor for telling others in the Church about her adultry. Turns out he did just as I said above---came to her first. My Pastor even knowing this, will/would do the same thing.

O'Reilly was wrong on this one as he is sometimes, he thinks the woman was right. Either that or he is being PC, which I think he also does sometimes.

 
At 10/28/2006 10:20 PM , Blogger Barb said...

Oh wow, yes,it is about the money.So as soon as this becomes the law of the land ,how can the Libs say 'No" to some gay guy who wants 2 "mates" or 3 "mates"? Do they all get benefits? Social Security when the first guy retires?
I guess Social Security isn't in enough trouble. The Libs want to bring America to her knees, not just morally ,but financially.
This will put a lot of businesses into bankruptcy, then the USA can follow.

 
At 10/30/2006 1:05 AM , Blogger RAM said...

First, let me say that I do NOT believe in multiple marriages either, as the Mormans do, BUT,----I do wonder why the same people that want a man, with more than one wife, to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but have no problem with Hugh Hefner living with 3 girlfriends and in fact CELEBRATE that fact!

Heck, even people who CLAIM to love Jesus, (like Harold Ford), also love "Hef" and what he stands for!

 
At 10/30/2006 7:10 AM , Blogger camojack said...

Hawkeye®:
I generally try to keep it "pithy", largely due to my horrendous typing...but I wanted to make myself perfectly clear.
(Me & Nixon...)

 
At 10/30/2006 9:29 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

RAM,
My condolences on your being represented by Evan Bayh. I don't hate gays either. Just disagree with their lifestyle, mainly for the same reasons as Camo. O'Reilly is wrong on any number of issues... nobody's perfect.

Regards...

 
At 10/30/2006 9:37 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Barb,
Yes, I think we are on the "slippery slope", as they say.

RAM,
Hef didn't break the law. Having 3 girlfriends is seen as "sexy". Having 3 wives is against the law. Big difference in some peoples' minds. But not to those who are spiritually enlightened.

Camo,
I'll bet you're not a "crook" either, eh?

 
At 10/31/2006 5:19 AM , Blogger camojack said...

Right.

 
At 11/03/2006 10:49 AM , Anonymous west coast liberal said...

Hawkeye:
A few comments.

1. The NJ Supreme Court ruling did not legalize gay marriage. What it did was simply re-affirm that all Americans have the same rights. That's it.

2. As a Christian, you certainly have a right to disagree with gay relationships, but as a citizen of this country, you HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO SUCK IT UP that gays and lesbians have the same rights as heterosexuals.

3. As with point (1), if the NJ supreme court wanted to legislate, it would have gone as far as to give gay marriage the green light. It did not do that.

4. No one knows if same sex marriage is gonna pass in NJ. If it goes to the ballot, it could very well get shot down by voters.

5. You keep harping on biblical principles but you seem to forget that there is something called "separation of church and state".

6. gay-bashing among a bunch of right-wing, Christian nuts? Wow, is that surprising or what?

7. As far as taxes go, it is a well known fact that gays and lesbians have far higher incomes and hence pay more taxes. They carry more of the burden of footing the bill for state and federal expenditures, including the war in Iraq & Afghanistan, building roads and bridges, etc.. than the poor, uneducated, ignorant, gay-bashing hicks.

 
At 11/03/2006 1:47 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

WCL,

A few comments on your comments.

1. I KNOW that SCONJ didn't legalize gay marriage... they ORDERED the NJ legislature to legalize gay marriage.

2. Despite what you say, all Americans DO NOT have the same rights. The law regularly discriminates between various Americans. For example, on the basis of age: You cannot vote, drive, drink or smoke if you are below a certain age. On the basis of statehood: You can do some things in one state that you cannot do in another. And there are plenty more examples.

3. What do you mean I have "NO CHOICE". Of course I do. My "choice" is based on my internal belief system and values... and I choose to OBJECT... I choose to PROTEST... I choose to SPEAK out (1st Amendment)... I choose to VOTE for legislators who share my values.

4. Gays and lesbians do NOT have the same rights as heterosexuals. They have NOT had the same rights since the country was founded 230 years ago. They do NOT have the same rights unless we CHOOSE to give them those rights. I and others choose NOT to. BTW, "sexual preference" does not qualify as a Civil Rights issue as far as I'm concerned. Civil Rights activists have fought to end discrimination against those things which people cannot change about themselves like skin color, ethnicity, gender, or age. You can be sure that there are plenty of Civil Rights leaders who scorn those who suggest that the "plight" of gays & lesbians equals the struggle of African-Americans.

5. The decision of the SCONJ is clearly in violation of EXISTING law... they went so far as to admit it. Overturning existing law IS INDEED legislating from the bench.

6. You apparently do not understand the concept of "separation of church and state". The concept as originally established was PERMISSIVE... to guarantee the free excercise of religion. The concept has been perverted by the ACLU et al. to be RESTRICTIVE... that is, to prevent the free excercise of religion. I suggest you learn some history.

7. Where in my article do you suggest that I am "gay-bashing"? When I call it 'perversion'? Well, it IS a perversion. Any biologist will tell you that reproductive organs are intended for procreation and regeneration of the species. Any other use is a "perversion" of their intended function, plain and simple.

8. As far as taxes go, conservatives like me want to keep them down while libs like you want them to keep going up. Since an awful lot of gays & lesbians seem to be liberal, they should be HAPPY that they pay so many taxes!

9. As far as name calling, I guess that makes you a "Christ-bashing elitist", eh?

 

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