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Friday, October 18, 2013

Jersey Boys Can Marry on Monday

And so can Jersey Girls, following today's denial of a stay on same-sex marriages by the New Jersey Supreme Court, as NJ.com reports:
Same-sex marriages can begin Monday in New Jersey on a provisional basis, the state Supreme Court ruled today. The court will not make a final ruling on same-sex marriage rights until next year. But in the meantime, it upheld an order by a trial judge allowing civil marriages for gay couples to start Monday.

"The public interest does not favor a stay," the Supreme Court ruled in a 7-0 decision by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner today. "State officials shall therefore permit same-sex couples, who are otherwise eligible, to enter into civil marriage beginning on October 21, 2013."

Although the Supreme Court could change its stance later, for now, the decision is a victory for thousands of gay couples in New Jersey, who will be able to marry in-state for the first time starting next week. And it’s a setback for Gov. Chris Christie, an opponent of same-sex marriage who says only "one man and one woman" should be able to wed. At a campaign event at a restaurant in Dover, Christie ignored a reporter's request for comment about the ruling.

Michael Drewniak, Christie's spokesman, later issued a brief statement. "The Supreme Court has made its determination," Drewniak said. "While the Governor firmly believes that this determination should be made by all the people of the State of New Jersey, he has instructed the Department of Health to cooperate with all municipalities in effectuating the order of the Superior Court under the applicable law."

And the way the New Jersey Supremes worded their opinion today, it sure sounds to me like they will rule decisively in favor of marriage equality when they rule on the mertis of the case in February. The text of today's ruling is here. See also the New Yorker article, "Gay Marriage Comes to New Jersey."

What I Say: Your Head Trucker is struck by this comment from a New Jersey couple who plan to marry at 12:01 a.m. on Monday:
David Gibson and Rich Kiamco, who live on the city’s West Side, were married in New York on Sept. 30, 2011, and they plan to do it all again in the wee small hours of Monday morning. . . .

Asked why it matters so much for them to be legally married in New Jersey as well as New York, Kiamco was blunt.

“New Jersey said, ‘Screw you, you don’t deserve equal rights and protections,’” he said. “They treated us as second-class citizens . . . well, we want that piece of paper.”
Now your Head Trucker very well recalls a time in the late 1960's and early 1970's when it became, like, totally cool to say, "Oh, we don't need a piece of paper to prove that we love each other."

And your Head Trucker has always, from that day to this, thought that was pure bullshit - mindless parroting of a doctrinaire idea dreamed up by some stupid, pot-headed boys and girls (especially the boys) who just wanted to get it on and to hell with the consequences or with the parents' opinions.

But many a young woman who glibly repeated that empty line has since found out the bitter truth of Goldsmith's verse:
When lovely woman stoops to folly,
She finds too late that men betray.
And many a young man has learnt a bitter lesson also. A number of years ago, I was talking with a young fellow at work, who was griping that his ex-girlfriend wouldn't let him see his kid, even though he was making child-support payments under court order. I remarked that, well, that's why marriage was invented, to give you some rights over your own children.

The young man, amazed, blurted out: "You mean I was supposed to marry her? I just fucked her, that's all."

Contrast this utterly brainless, puerile, self-centered attitude, conditioned by the incessant repetitions of it in popular culture, with the earnest, clear-headed couples quoted above and in the video clip. They see - they know - what an enormous difference that little "piece of paper" means to their lives, and their happiness.

And I hope all my readers do too. It's time to stop repeating the asinine, narcissistic doctrine of the hippie era, which is as fucking stupid as the Tea Partiers who claim we don't need no stinking government. And then scream about don't touch my Social Security or Medicare.

We do need government, and we do need marriage. And you do need a piece of paper - not to "prove your love," because listen, friend, nobody gives a flying fuck who you loooove. Nobody gives a crap who you screw or how many.  If that's all you want out of life - go for it.  Get all you can grab.  Be my guest.  Marriage is not, and never will be mandatory or even advisable for everyone.

But if you want more than an endless succession of tricks and one-night stands, you do need it to protect your love - and the one you love, and yourself - which is a whole different thing.

Or do you agree with the Honorable Linda Oliver, Mayor of West Union, South Carolina:

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