As I talked about in a recent post, N.J. has a very small but very direct window of oprotuniy to grant gay couples equal civil marriage rights. Today Mark Segal, the publisher of PGN (Phiadelphia Gay News), wrote Gov. Corzine an open letter…
Dear Gov. Corzine:
I hope you don’t mind me writing to you at a sensitive time when you’re
dealing with your recent election loss, but your loss came in honor: You
made tough decisions that benefited the citizens of New Jersey rather than
improve your chances of re-election.
And that, sir, is what I write to you about today: honor. Specifically, the
honor of LGBT people. There are many items on your agenda before you leave
Trenton, and you might believe that marriage equality is just a small one.
The reality is that it is not, and here’s why it needs the attention of an
honorable governor with strong leadership skills.
As President Obama has stated, the struggle for LGBT equality is to our time
what the civil-rights movement was in the 1960s. The 1960s movement was
brought on by visions of black Americans being blocked at every crossroad
and being treated as second-class citizens.
One of those images is that of Alabama Gov. George Wallace standing in the
doorway of a school so that black children could not enter and the schools
would stay segregated. In those days, blacks and whites went to different
schools in the Deep South. They were said to be “separate but equal.” In the
case of marriage equality, Gov.-elect Chris Christie is standing in the
chapel doorway, blocking equality. And, like Wallace, he proudly states that
he’d veto any equality bill. Christie is that governor standing in that
doorway. And for what?
(Click below to read the rest of Mark Segal’s open letter to Gov. Corzine…)
The answer is nothing — except to keep LGBT people as second-class citizens.
With all due respect, there is no logical debate against equality. The
most-often-used argument is religion. Sir, we in the LGBT community respect
the rights of all, including those of all religions. This legislation does
not change the manner in which any religion practices its beliefs. No
church, synagogue or mosque would be required to hold LGBT weddings. No
religion would be forced to marry gay people in its house of worship, just
as Catholic churches do not allow a non-Catholic to marry a Catholic with
all the rights and privileges of the Church.
The reality is that, due to the current laws of New Jersey, only one thing
will change: the wording that creates equality.
Before your term ends, I have one request: Urge the legislature to pass the
marriage-equality bill for your signature.
Words are powerful. They can be used to show hate and contempt while
standing in a doorway. Or they can bring tears of joy to a couple and their
friends and family while creating a bond that betters the community in which
Governor, thank you for your leadership. New Jersey is truly a better state
today, thanks to your management of the last four years.
… Thanks Mark!! And come on Gov. Corzine, do the right thing!!