New Jersey Takes Step in Right Direction on Same-Sex Couples
October 25, 2006
Same-sex marriage is one step closer in New Jersey. The state supreme court properly recognized that to deny same-sex committed couples the full benefits that heterosexual married couples receive is discriminatory. To do so violates the equal protection clause of the New Jersey constitution, it ruled. (And, with the same logic, banning same-sex marriage violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.)
The court understood that there is no “legitimate government purpose” and “no rational basis” for treating “similarly situated classes of people” differently.
This has been the crucial argument all along.
No sensible, secular reason exists for letting a heterosexual couple enjoy full marriage benefits after the bride and groom run off to Vegas and tie the knot in a drunken stupor and then to deprive those benefits to a same-sex couple that has been together for 10 or 15 years.
This is discrimination, plain and simple.
I wish the New Jersey State Supreme Court would have gone the logical step further, which three of the seven justices wanted. And that is to legalize same-sex marriage in that state.
But at least all the justices laid the groundwork for this eventuality, which can come no moment too soon.