Yesterday we learned that the U. S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will review the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between only a man and a woman for the purposes of more than 1,000 federal laws and programs, and the California case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, in which an appellate court struck down Proposition 8’s ban on gay marriage. The court could focus on narrow issues which would leave much unresolved. It could also broadly rule in favor of marriage equality (hope) or against marriage equality (fear).
In between it might uphold the California appellate decision but still leave the matter up to individual states to decide. Likewise it might strike down DOMA, but the advantages of access to federal laws and programs might only accrue to those who are able to legally marry.
In between hope and fear is action. For New Jerseyans there is every reason to continue our state efforts to achieve what Steven Goldstein, Garden State Equality Chair, refers to as “our foremothers’ and forefathers’ vision of a nation built on liberty and justice for all.” The Washington Post points out, Gay marriage is legal, or will be soon, in nine states – Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington – and the District of Columbia.
Overriding Governor Christie’s veto of the Marriage Equality bill now takes on added importance. We can only guess what SCOTUS will rule, but much better is for New Jersey to affirm our support for this civil rights issue and position ourselves to access whatever rights the court might affirm.