(What really is unfortunate is the lengths people will go to deny equal rights and then the language they will use to justify that denial. – promoted by njdem)
The Corzine administration’s reaction to a report that civil unions fail to guarantee equal rights for all families:
Gov. Corzine’s spokeswoman, Lilo Stainton, said the governor was “disappointed to hear about the frustration that people are having. . . . That is unfortunate.”
Is this Corzine’s attempt at empathy, to “feel your pain”? If so, it’s way off the mark and too glib by half.
Unfortunate? No. When you go to a diner they mess up your order– that’s unfortunate. When you’re driving to an important meeting and all of the sudden, you get a flat tire– that’s unfortunate.
When you are a hard-working New Jerseyan just trying to start a family, and you face discrimination that threatens your family’s financial, medical, and emotional security– that’s not just unfortunate. It’s a failure of a flawed system that relegates hundreds of New Jersey’s families to second-class status.
“His bottom line is not so much about the M word – marriage. It’s about equal rights. He wants to make sure people have access to benefits, to jobs, to education, and all the things that they should, regardless of color, creed, sexual orientation, and all the other things.”
I have to ask with all honesty, did Ms. Stainton or anyone else in the administration even read the civil unions report? People aren’t just “frustrated” with the law; they’re actively being denied equal rights. As the report shows, the label of “civil unions” creates a loophole employers can drive a truck through– practically inviting them to discriminate and deny families critically needed benefits. The report is clear about the experience of other states: in Vermont, which has had civil unions for 8 years, civil unioned families face the same discrimination and benefit denials. In contrast, families in Massachusetts, which has marriage, are guaranteed real equality.
The policy contrast couldn’t be clearer. Civil unions create a discriminatory second-class status that hurts New Jersey’s families. Only marriage equality will guarantee all families have equal rights.
Then there’s this gem from the administration:
Corzine has said that he would sign a gay-marriage bill, should one pass the Legislature, but that he did not want to do so this year.
“He doesn’t want the issue of gay marriage to be hijacked by the right wing during a presidential election,” Stainton said.
What a truly cynical reaction to a the fact that one in five civil-unioned families face discrimination that threatens their livelihoods. It’s comforting to know that Governor Corzine has the best interests of New Jersey’s families at heart– that he’d rather run scared of the right-wing than stand up for New Jersey’s families. It’s time to stop playing politics and stand up for for what’s right.
Governor Corzine, civil unions are substantively hurting families in this state every single day. Those hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding families can’t afford to wait until after the presidential election. The time to stand up for equality is now.