Now, this is when national news becomes New Jersey news: President Barack Obama has just told ABC News that he thinks “same sex couples should be able to get married.” New Jersey, which has the distinction of marriage equality bills clearing both houses only to be stopped at the governor’s desk, plus a marriage equality court case, is now lagging behind its neighboring state of New York, and behind the leader of the free world. Who sure took his time.
Timing’s fascinating. Yesterday North Carolina voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on same sex marriage. The Democrats national convention is in Charlotte, NC Sept. 3-6. As soon as news broke about the North Carolina decision, petitions began circulating demanding the Democrats abandon North Carolina and hold the convention somewhere else. Practically impossible, given the investment the Dems have already made in NC, and how much they will need their money in the general election. Obama carried North Carolina in 2008, and its status as a 2012 battleground was guaranteed by Democrats’ decision to meet there. In the last few days, U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan and VP Joe Biden have stated their support for marriage equality, which intentional or not, has had the effect of trial balloon.
Romney, of course, is against everything. Yesterday in Colorado, Romney said he opposes even civil unions. And Christie, who has campaigned hard for the VP slot (while denying that’s what he’s doing) has stood in the way of his own gay constituents who wish to marry.
Steven Goldstein’s reaction, for Garden State Equality, below the fold:
For those who devote their political lives to LGBT equality, and those whose personal futures hang on a shift in marriage law, this news resonates to the bone. Garden State Equality’s Steven Goldstein is particularly effusive:
“I am overwhelmed with tears of joy, as our millions of other LGBT people and our millions of allies across America. We will remember for the rest of our lives where we were when we heard the sitting President of the United States say he supports marriage equality.
“Today’s announcement by the President is of particular importance to those of us fighting in New Jersey and everywhere else marriage equality is up for grabs. No longer will opponents such as Governor Chris Christie be able to take cover by saying, “Why are you going after me? My opposition to marriage equality is simply the same view as that of our President.” That political cover is now thrown into dustbin of history parked outside the archives of prejudice, collecting its rhetorical trash. Short of when America becomes a land of marriage equality, this is the happiest day of our political lives. I’m on Cloud 18.”
I’m a member of Garden State Equality’s large and busy board, so consider this disclosure. But I’d be covering this anyway.