In the State of New Jersey, the most crowded state in the union, one court decision has changed the face the the Gay Rights movement. In my opinion, it should be just another step in the direction of equal rights for all Americans. It is part of a new Civil Rights movement in this country. Only this time, color and creed have nothing to do with it.
It seems that in the course of American history, we have always had a group of individuals that are hated above all others. And at each of these points in history, America has failed time and again to give these people equal rights. Each time the majority leaders have fought at every turn to deny these groups of having the same life as the rest of us. Why is America so intolerant?
One could go on for hours detailing the struggles of Native Americans, Blacks, Asians, Irish, Polish, Jewish, or Mexican peoples in this country. And one could also spend an equal amount of time on the new struggle for equality for homosexuals. This case in New Jersey has brought that struggle back up from its short hibernation in the media.
Yesterday, the New Jersey Supreme Court said, "state lawmakers must provide the rights and benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian couples. " In other words, according to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry and have all the benefits of marriage from the state. And now, in New Jersey at least, a spark of hope for the future. Some portion of total equality is handed down.
The court was split in a 4-3 vote. But according the court records, those 3 that did not rule in favor of the decision said, "the court should have extended full marriage rights to homosexuals, without kicking the issue back to legislators." So really, all the justices agreed. It is definitely a step in the right direction. But of course it does not come that easy.
Those that hate the idea of equal rights had some things to say about the ruling. Among them, Sen. Sam Brownback said, "the New Jersey decision warrants swift, decisive action by Congress in the form of passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment." Which means he does not think everyone should have equal rights to marry. Yet he gives no reason why. None of the hate-mongers in government or anti-gay groups can give a reason. They simple spread their message of hate across the country and create even more obstacles to equal rights for everyone. But with their hate, they strengthen the resolve of supporters and fuel this new Civil Rights movement.
The bill in the New Jersey legislator does have a chance. Supporters of the bill announced that three legislators have already agreed to introduce a bill soon. In a statement that came with this announcement, Steven Goldstein of Garden State Equality said, "only over our dead bodies will we settle for less than 100 percent marriage equality." And the fight continues. And until all Americans have equal rights, no one should stop fighting for this cause.