promoted by Rosi
In our constitutional republic/representative democracy, the voters in our state elect a Governor and legislators to make hard decisions, not come up with excuses about why they cannot or gimmicks like passing the buck back to the voters. New Jersey does not need to amend its constitution to provide gay men and women with equal rights under the law. Our State Supreme Court has already ruled on this issue and ordered our legislature to do just that, which it has done insufficiently to date.
The legislation before the Assembly and Senate that will go to the Governor for his signature or veto addresses earlier failures. Governor Chris Christie has spent his first two years in office priding himself on his boldness and the courage of his convictions. Signing
or vetoing this legislation or would be consistent with that assessment of his performance. Passing the buck back to the voters is not.
If Governor Christie signs the legislation, then this issue will be resolved once and for all. If he vetoes it, we will do everything in our power to try to override his veto. If we fail to do this, then we will ask the State Supreme Court, which may include Governor Christie’s recent appointees, to determine once and for all whether or not existing legislation satisfies its earlier ruling.
We have three branches of government who are tasked with the responsibility of making hard decisions like this one, not come up with excuses why they cannot or gimmicks like passing the buck back to the voters. If Governor Christie, our state legislators, and our State Supreme Court justices, including the Governor’s appointees, are not afraid to make hard decisions, then there can only be one reason why Christie and the Republicans in Trenton are proposing to pass the buck back to the voters.
Like Republicans in so many other states, they want to use this issue to excite their base and drive turnout for this November’s elections, possibly to the benefit of Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential candidate whose state of Massachusetts to his credit was the first in the United States to achieve marriage equality while he was its Governor, one of many things that he has tried to run away from while running for President over the last year.
Considering the overheated rhetoric and hyperpartisanship that has made our federal government all but inoperative, neither Democrats, Republicans, nor independents in our state need a referendum on marriage equality to be inspired to vote in this year’s elections. Regardless of who the Republican Presidential nominee might be, there will be clear contrasts between him and President Barack Obama and between all of the Democrats, Republicans, and independents who will be running for elected office on this year’s ballot.
That said, it is entirely possible that Governor Christie has lost confidence in Governor Romney after his recent loss in South Carolina, lagging position in the Florida polls, and sagging national poll numbers. It is understandable that Governor Christie might be
concerned about how our state’s and our country’s most conservative voters might feel about his endorsed candidate, for whom he has spent more time campaigning recently than working to solve our state’s economic problems, if he is able to survive his current electoral crisis and becomes the Republican Party’s standard-bearer.
It is understandable that he might want to give him the chance to come to New Jersey and personally campaign against marriage equality since this issue is one of the many reasons that our state’s and our country’s most conservative voters don’t trust him and may not be willing to come out and vote for him even against someone who they hate as much as President Obama. Politics and political game-playing is the usual answer to any question about why our state’s elected officials do not make hard decisions and instead make excuses or use gimmicks to avoid solving our state’s problems and it is the reason why Governor Christie and the Republicans in Trenton do not want to make this hard decision.
We must demand more from our Governor and our state legislators. We must demand that they make the hard decisions that our voters elected them to make and stop playing political games with important civil rights issues. We must demand that they vote for or against the legislation that is going through the Assembly and the Senate and we must demand that our Governor sign it or veto it. We may or may not agree with how they vote or what he does, but we must demand that they be bold and courageous enough to take a stand one way or another and not pass the buck back to the voters.
The buck stopped with President Truman and it must stop with Governor Christie.