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USA, New Jersey: Amidst Scandal, Governor Christie Finds Time to Veto Transgender Bill

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

New Jersey Governor Chris ChristieApparently the George Washington Bridge scandal hasn’t taken up all of Chris Christie’s time.

Joe.My.God reports:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie today vetoed a bill that would have granted transgender citizens the right to change their names on their birth certificates. The bill was approved by the state Assembly in June by a vote of 43-27 and by the state Senate in December by a vote of 21-11. Christie’s veto is “absolute” – which means that a 2/3 majority in both chambers (27 votes in the Senate; 54 votes in the Assembly) is now required to override.

Whe? What’s so threatening about people being able to change their legal names because they are transgender? Of all the hills to take a stand on…

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USA, New Jersey: Governor Christie Drops Appeal of Marriage Equality Ruling

Monday, October 21st, 2013

New Jersey Governor Chris ChristieAnd just like that, it’s over. Governor Chris Christie just dropped his appeal of the ruling legalizing marriage equality in New Jersey.

Joe.My.God reports:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie today dropped his state Supreme Court appeal of the lower court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. And that’s THAT. Via Politicker New Jersey:

Gov. Chris Christie on Monday morning advised the Attorney General to submit a formal letter to the high court announcing its intent to cease the fight. “Chief Justice Stuart Rabner left no ambiguity about the unanimous court’s view on the ultimate decision in this matter when he wrote, ‘same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today,’” the administration stated. “Although the Governor strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the Court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law. The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his Administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

Marriage equality is now here to stay in New Jersey!

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USA, New Jersey: Governor Christie Will Comply with Supreme Court’s Order on Same-Sex Weddings

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

New Jersey Governor Chris ChristieNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie says he will comply with the state Supreme Court’s order that same-sex weddings can begin on Monday.

Edge Boston reports:

Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak says in a statement that the governor “firmly believes that this determination should be made by all the people of the state of New Jersey.” But he says the state Health Department will help towns carry out Friday’s state Supreme Court ruling. The court denied the Christie administration’s request to delay a lower-court order that the state recognize same-sex marriage beginning Monday. Same-sex marriages will begin within days in New Jersey after the state’s highest court ruled unanimously Friday to uphold a lower-court order that gay weddings must start Monday and to deny a delay that was sought by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration.

In related news, NOM’s Brian Brown activist judges blah blah blah.

Joe.My.God reports:

“It is extremely disappointing that the New Jersey Supreme Court has allowed the ruling of an activist judge to stand pending its appeal through the court system. The definition of marriage is something that should be decided by the people of New Jersey themselves, not by any judge or court. New Jerseyans should have the right to vote on this issue just as voters in nearly three dozen other states have done. In addition, the decision to allow same-sex ‘marriage’ to proceed even while the law is being tested in court is unfair both to the voters of the state and to same-sex couples themselves.”

Same old, same old.

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USA, New Jersey: State Supreme Court Will Take Marriage Equality Case

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

New Jersey mapThe New Jersey Supreme Court stepped into the marriage equality fight, and will also rule on whether a stay of the lower court’s order allowing weddings to begin October 21st is warranted.

Politicker NJ reports:

The opposing sides will file briefs in November, and the court will hear oral arguments either on Jan. 6 or 7 of next year. The high court also decided to take jurisdiction over the motion to stay Judge Mary Jacobson’s order to allow gay marriage starting Oct. 21. Jacobson ruled she would not postpone her order of last month, finding the state would suffer no real harm if marriages were allowed, but the couples who want to marry would. The state had gone to appellate court hoping to stay her ruling.

Governor Christie’s legal team trotted out the tired old “one unelected judge will of the people” argument.

LGNTQ Nation reports:

“It is in the public interest that such a profound change, if it is to occur, take place not because a single judge — no matter how diligent, thoughtful, and thorough — ordered it, but rather because the Supreme Court, the ultimate arbiter, has deemed it necessary,” the state Attorney General’s Office said in its brief. “To overhaul such an ancient social institution prematurely, precipitously, or in a manner ultimately deemed unnecessary would injure not only the public interest, but the State that represents this interest,” the filing said.

And, just for fun, we’ll report on Jersey Shore’s JWoww trashing the Governor over the whole thing.

Edge Boston reports:

“If you have a problem with two people being in love, and you’re against gay marriage, I have a problem with you,” Farley said. “What happens between two human beings has nothing to do with Chris Christie and does not affect Chris Christie. What does affect me is when my best friend can’t get married in New Jersey, and my best friend’s mother, who is a lesbian, can’t get married.”

Now that the Supreme Court has jumped in, especially since it’s before the 10/21 deadline, I’d guess a stay is likely. They’re not going to want the case to be moot before they hear it. What do you think?

USA, New Jersey: 62% Support Pro Marriage Equality Ruling

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

titleIf New jersey voters had their way, the state would drop its appeal of the recent pro-marriage equality ruling.

NJ.com reports:

The poll found that of the 702 registered voters questioned, 62 percent agreed with Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s Sept. 27 decision to allow same-sex couples to get married on the ground that the current state law was a violation of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Jacobson ruled that the marriages can begin on Oct. 21, but Gov. Chris Christie is appealing the ruling. The Christie administration is also seeking a stay on last month’s decision. According to the poll, 62 percent of respondents said they wanted the state to drop its appeal.

Will Governor Chris Christie listen? Not likely.

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USA, New Jersey: In Wake of Marriage Equality Ruling, Governor Christie Pushes for Public Vote Again

Monday, September 30th, 2013

New Jersey Governor Cris ChristieNow that a court New Jersey has declared the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, Governor Chris Christie is once again pushing the idea of a public vote on the issue.

Gay Star News reports:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is standing by his call to have voters decide on marriage equality. The Republican, who is seeking reelection, was profiled on CBS Sunday Morning. In the wide ranging interview, Christie repeated that he is against gay marriage. ‘…I will tell you is that I understand that good people of good will have a difference of opinion on this. And so my view on it is, put it on the ballot. Let the people decide,’ Christie said.

It’s also unclear whether there will be a stay in place while the ruling is appealed:

Christie is appealing this ruling to the state’s highest court, but it remains unclear if he will seek a stay as Jacobson’s judgment is reviewed.

If not, same-sex couples can start marrying as early as October 21st.

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USA, New Jersey: Christie to Appeal Marriage Equality Ruling

Friday, September 27th, 2013

New Jersey Governor Cris ChristieWell, there’s your answer. Governor Chris Chritie plans to appeal a new ruling allowing marriage equality in the Garden State.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

A spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie says he will appeal a state court ruling calling for same-sex marriage to be legalized. Spokesman Michael Drewniak says Christie “will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination” after lawmakers rejected his previous plan to have voters decide whether to allow same-sex marriage. A state judge ruled earlier Friday that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry beginning Oct. 21.

It’s too bad he couldn’t just let it be – and wash his hands of it. Now he’ll be remembered as the Governor who fought equality.

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USA, New Jersey: Two GOP Legislators Will Vote for Marriage Equality Bill

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Rep. Declan O'Shannon and Rep. Holly SchepisiTwo members of New Jersey’s Republican party plan to defy Governor Chris Christie to vote for the marriage equality bill. Joe.my.God reports:

Two GOP members of the New Jersey Assembly, Rep. Declan O’Shannon and Rep. Holly Schepisi, say they will defy Gov. Chris Christie and vote for marriage equality. O’Scanlon said there are likely to be more crossover votes. “The narrative that the governor strong-arms Republicans in the Legislature is false,” O’Scanlon said Wednesday. “I think you’ll see some other folks vote for it, but I don’t know exactly how many at this point. We’re some time away from that vote actually happening,” he said.

Is the veto override effort in New Jersey finally picking up steam?

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USA, New Jersey: NJ United for Marriage Asks Court for Quick Decision

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

New Jersey United for MarriageAfter the state filed a brief in the marriage equality case urging the court to go slow, gay rights activists filed their own brief pushing for the opposite. Philly.com reports:

Lawyers for a group of gay couples said in a court filing Friday that New Jersey’s key argument against allowing same-sex marriage immediately is “contrary to established law.” The reply brief filed Friday is the last one expected before oral arguments on gay marriage in New Jersey, scheduled for Thursday… In Friday’s reply, lawyers for the couples said the state was wrong. “The state’s effort to avoid responsibility for its actions by blaming the federal government is contrary to established law,” they wrote.

Governor Christie has done everything he can to slow down progress on marriage equality in the state – time for a court remedy.

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USA, New Jersey: Christie’s Anti Marriage Equality Brief is Incoherent

Monday, August 5th, 2013

New Jersey Governor Cris ChristieNew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration filed a brief last week defending the state’s 2006 Civil Union Act, which grants gay couples all the benefits of marriage yet bars them from actually getting married. The brief is Christie’s first official legal statement on same-sex marriage. Given his apparent aspiration to be the next Republican nominee for president, it is especially too bad that the brief also may be the most incoherent defense of heterosexual supremacy yet. That’s saying something in an era in which lawyers have tied themselves in logical pretzels to defend indefensible anti-gay laws. Even by that low standard, the brief reads like a student paper written during an all-nighter. You’d think an aspiring president would take the task more seriously.

The Christie brief was filed in state Superior Court, in a suit brought by six couples who sued New Jersey for the right to marry in 2011. After the Supreme Court’s June ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act–the 1996 law that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples–the New Jersey plaintiffs asked the superior court to allow gay marriage in the state to begin right away. They argue that civil unions are inherently unequal now that the Supreme Court has tossed the key component of DOMA. The feds are now granting benefits to gay spouses, but New Jersey’s civil union law prevents gay partners from receiving those benefits.

Christie’s brief defends civil unions in three ways. First, it argues that the state can rationally restrict the label “marriage” to heterosexual unions because it is “preserving” the definition of the word. Second, it contends that it’s actually the feds who are now blocking gay equality by withholding benefits to civil union partners. And third, it claims that the state courts should move very cautiously when contemplating a major change in social institutions–all fine and well except that, as the state itself admits, calling a gay union a marriage isn’t much of a change anymore. In fact, throughout the brief, what’s most striking is that every last argument Christie’s administration makes, it then proceeds to blatantly contradict.

Authored By Nathaniel Frank – See the Full Story at Slate.com

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