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Ignite the Pulpit

Same sex marriage: empty veto?



The gavel: a symbol of judgment and rule of law. It should not be consistent with Don’t tell your mother. But it is when it stands for judicial abuse. What happened to good judgment in America? Or are we left only with scandal?

What do Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, California, New York and Maine have in common? They all allow same sex marriage. This is a pretty remarkable occurrence given that George W. Bush was elected because he vowed to pass a Constitutional amendment protecting the definition of traditional marriage. Sorry to say that Bush’s campaign promises have gone the way of most other campaign promises – the highway of unaccountability. It is even more remarkable when one considers that the citizens of these states in many instances voted against same sex marriage. However, their will was overturned by either the legislature or the courts.

Big Daddy to the rescue – maybe not!

Chris Christie vetoes a same sex marriage bill, after nominating a gay Supreme Court candidate. Contradiction, anyone?

Chris Christie holds a town hall meeting in Hillsborough, NJ, on March 2, 2011. Photo: Bob Jagendorf, CC BY 2.0 Generic License

New on the scene is New Jersey, whose Big Daddy governor Chris Christie, vetoed the Bill passed by the legislature allowing same sex marriage. Christie had promised to do so when he was campaigning. Unlike Bush, Christie held to this promise – or did he? True, he vetoed the Bill. However as a very astute politician, the Governor most assuredly knows that all the states that currently allow same sex marriage have achieved this through the courts and against the will of the people.

On January 23, 2012 Chris Christie appointed Bruce Harris, an openly gay mayor and same sex marriage activist to the NJ Supreme Court – wink, wink. While the Harris appointment hasn’t gone before the NJ Senate for approval, approval by the notoriously liberal NJ Senate is all but a formality. (Especially since Senate President Stephen Sweeney now boasts of his good working relationship with this governor.)

During his campaign, Christie promised to reform the courts. Those who voted for him (this reporter included), interpreted that to mean that he would appoint constructionists or originalists to the bench. It is hard to say what New Jersey’s Big Daddy Governor had in mind when he made that promise, since his latest Supreme Court appointments have been lawyers without a record of service to rely upon. Hopefully “reforming the courts” isn’t akin to “change you can believe in” which allowed voters to read what they wanted into that slogan.

The same sex marriage contradiction

Unless you don’t mind being scolded by Big Daddy, I wouldn’t suggest you question him about this appointment. Fair questions don’t seem to be endearing to the Governor. And his propensity to yell at those asking them has only endeared him to the public. Agreed – he’s a charismatic and charming kind of politician. On a personal basis, I love his NJ attitude. I think we need more of it. But don’t let that endearing twinkle in his eye fool you. He is a calculating politician who just happens to be smarter than the rest. He may also be one of the best governors NJ has had in quite some time. But don’t count on this Big Daddy coming to the rescue when it comes to same sex marriage. Appointing a same-sex advocate to the highest court in the State (knowing that the issue will be coming before the court) is certainly a questionable action for a Governor who claims he is as socially conservative as he is fiscally.

Will Bruce Harris recuse himself from this issue as he has promised? Perhaps. But if you believe that the NJ Supreme Court activists judges will not rule in favor of their comrade, I suggest you do a little research. These tyrants in black robes have a history of voting their ideology over the NJ or US Constitutions whenever given the chance. And unfortunately, same sex marriage will probably be just another chance to advance their liberal ideology.

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RoseAnn Salanitri is a published author and Acquisition Editor for the New Jersey Family Policy Council. She is a community activist who has founded the Sussex County Tea Party in her home state and launched a recall movement against Senator Robert Menendez. RoseAnn is also the founder of Veritas Christian Academy, as well as co-founder of Creation Science Alive, and a national creation science speaker.

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It may appear to be shrewd election-year politics for Christie, because it gives the appearance of Conservative credibility while he’s being considered as a VP candidate and party leader. If it passes in a referendum, it also allows him to say, “Hey, this was the will of the people – what can I do?”.

Unfortunately, he really just comes off like George Wallace in the 1960’s saying, “Hey, if black people deserve rights then it’s up to the white voters to give it to them, not me”. Like Rick Perry, he’s more popular with conservative strangers from other states than with the residents who know him better.

What strikes me about the objection to marriage equality based on “traditional values” is that laws banning interracial marriage were also based in “traditional values”, and even defended on Biblical grounds by judges who believed that God located different races on different continents with the intent that they would not intermarry.

If one considers that to be an unenlightened point of view that denied a certain group of citizens a right that others enjoyed for no legitimate purpose, then we’ll just have to look back at this time 60 years from now the way people today look at Mississippi in the 1950’s, and wonder at how this was such an issue.

There is no valid reason for society to deny the benefits of marriage to this class of people unless you involve religion, and there’s no legitimate reason to use one particular religion as the basis for imposing a law that affects U.S. citizens who may not hold the same religious views.

Fergus Mason

“I well remember what a black combat veteran said to me, concerning the prospect of open homosexuals serving in the Army: Not in my foxhole!”

Funnily enough that’s what I thought as well, right up until 1999 when the British Army went from dismissing homosexuals to letting them serve openly, with no “DADT” nonsense in the middle. Shortly afterwards I found out that about 6% of my colleagues, including some of the best soldiers I knew (except for me, of course,) were gay but had, somehow, resisted the urge to bum me all those years.

Discovering that people I liked and respected were gay wiped out all my prejudices against gays overnight. And I was still a christian then, too.

Though I am not surprised, I find it curiously bizarre (even schizophrenic and morally dishonest) that the same type of liberal mentality which applauds the “Arab Spring” democracy, would insist that US courts overturn the democratic will of the US people (in several states), who defined marriage at the ballot box, to be a union of a man and a woman.

But, be that as it may, Conservatives and those who possess even a lick of logical sense, know that those activists who promote same sex marriage and the homosexual agenda, do so, because they are anarchists, at heart. They will not rest until they can molest and destroy traditional America, which has its foundations built upon the Judeo / Christian ethic.


Why is the government even in the marriage business? It definitely has religious ties so leave marriages to the houses of worship. If the government has to govern marriages and I do not know why, they should only recognize them as unions.


Of course if the Government got out of the marriage business all the laws associated with the activities would have to be addressed and yes an opportunity to simplify the income tax laws.
I would think conservatives would be all over this it is an opportunity to shrink the government. Oh I forgot unless it concerns what people do in their bedrooms.


Marrige is a religious ceremony or act. The government really has no buisiness or authority with that act in any way. If two people are living a homosexual lifestyle they are living outside religious doctrine and should not be allowed to marry no mater what a sitting government thinks.
Where in the Constitution or Bill of Rights is the government given any authority over marrige? There is none!
When people learn to read documents for what is there instead of interpiting those documents for what could be to satisfy an agenda the problem is solved.


My point above was that civil rights we take for granted today were not always granted because society suddenly became enlightened and said “Oh, we changed our mind and this is okay now”.

The Homosexuals have served in our military with distinction for as long as there’s been a military, and the fact that they no longer have to keep their orientation a secret is not going to change that.

Pace v. Alabama was the case I was thinking of, where the interpretation of some men as to what constituted “Biblical values” was used to justify denying a civil right to many Americans simply because their actions (interracial marriage) were considered offensive. If you had put that to a referendum back in the deep south (or even Boston) prior to the 1960’s, all you’d get is an affirmation that this denial of equal treatment under the law was “the will of the people”.

Would any of us argue that denying interracial couples the right to marry was ever right? Just like ending slavery, just like allowing women to vote and own property, we’ve become better as a society by abandoning irrational prejudices that have no value to society.

If two people named “Pat” and “Chris” slid a marriage application under a clerk’s window and all the info was proper (but gender was left off), who’s to say that they shouldn’t be allowed to marry and have the government-recognized rights that go to married people? Unless you bring religion into the mix, there’s no objective reason to bring gender into the mix.

I’m heterosexual and married, and letting homosexuals get married harms me in no way? Arguments that marriage should be for procreation and same-sex marriage goes against that are nonsense – we don’t require fertility tests before giving out marriage licenses. Nor are we insisting that any religion sanction a same-sex marriage. All they are looking to be able to do is get the same marriage license from their local government that a man-woman couple can, and to be treated the same under the law. Pretending that “civil unions” or other substitutes are acceptable is falling for the old “separate but equal” trap that was allowed to exist for too long.

Until someone can demonstrate a valid reason why same-sex marriage should be prohibited that does not have it’s only justification in religion, then there is no reason to sanction the denial of equality under the law.


(Apologies to all readers for the lack of proofreading in my last reply – sheesh.)

Roland Hosey

You can’t compare people voting on same sex marriage to the civil rights of women to vote, or of blacks to vote. In both cases, the affected party’s were prohibited from voting at the time. Both groups received the “civil right” protection through constitutional amendments, which were ostensibly voted upon across the country. (The 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments to the Constitution)

That is all Governor Christie is asking of the legislature. If you want to amend the constitution in New Jersey, there is only one way to do it, and that is to allow the citizens to vote on it. The legislature is unable to create a new “civil right” for any group in New Jersey by themselves.

This really isn’t all that difficult.


Sorry Roland, but Christie’s move is cynical, not public-spirited.

If the government is going to grant special legal rights for having the status of “married”, then denying that right to a subset of the population for no valid purpose other than it being offensive to some religions is not a matter for the general population to decide. As I said, that’s like putting the elimination of “Separate but equal” to the voters of Mississippi or Alabama in 1950.

Brown v. Board of Education was necessary because it was wrong to wait until the majority came to the self-realization that denying truly equal treatment to the minority was wrong. The Fourteenth Amendment was not put up to a popular vote in a national election – the representatives elected by the people passed it, just as the NJ Legislature did in this case.

Governments issue marriage licenses, and clerks or judges perform civil ceremonies, not religious ones. Whatever one’s feeling about whether same-sex marriage is right or not, these are not religious practices, and no religious objection is sufficient to deny this (yes, I’ll say it) secular government service and withhold the benefits of that status from a targeted subset of the population.

Finally, it’s also important to be honest and see that by proposing a referendum, Christie is trying to bring out as many conservative voters to the polls as possible this November. It’s a pretty blatant and cynical practice, but not illegal. It just makes me sad that this is what we have for “leadership” in our state.

Roland Hosey


Are you that ignorant of history?

The 14th Amendment was THE basis for Brown v. Board of Education. The Congress proposed it in June of 1866, and it was ratified in July of 1868. (After being voted on by the states) Read it, you will understand how the majority, did indeed, recognize equal protection. The constitutional amendment, allowed for the “right” to be enforced. The Supreme Court only validated what the people had amended their constitution to say.

New Jersey does not hold anything back from homosexual couples. The civil union law works, and apparently very well as there have been only 13 complaints, 12 of which have been dismissed, and one which is pending.

The problem with “separate but equal” in Mississippi or Alabama was enforcement of the 15th amendment, not that it wasn’t there. Again, the “right” for blacks to vote was done through a constitutional amendment, not legislatively.

Not a single “right” is bestowed upon us legislatively. All come from one of the two constitutions. The one you are advocating to amend, can only be done in one way, for the people to vote on it. Nothing sinister or untoward there. Just reality.


“New Jersey does not hold anything back from homosexual couples.”

Sorry, Roland, but a heterosexual couple can go to my town hall, get a marriage license, and be able to be regarded as “married” in the eyes of the law and our society, and no religious ceremony is required as a follow-up to legitimize that status in those respects.

However, if the couple is of the same gender, they cannot get that marriage license from the government, and are made to follow a separate process that is the only one permitted by the government for their demographic group. They are not allowed to call themselves “married” in the eyes of the government or society, and that is what makes the “separate but equal” idea of civil unions a sham.

The simple truth is that the right to be married through a civil process that confers a particular status in society is allowed for some but denied for others, and that is not right. If it was truly the same status, there’s be no need for it to be called anything but marriage; instead, the “civil union” label is invoked to make these couples stand out as different in the eyes of society, for no secular purpose.

And that reinforces my point from above – I’ve yet to see anyone make a convincing case that there’s any harm in a secular, civil process being extended to all citizens even if offends the religious sensibilities of others.

Roland Hosey


Any homosexual couple can go into their town hall and get a “civil union”. That’s the law. You are arguing that they can’t call themselves “married”. That is correct. All of the benefits are the same, all of the privileges are conferred upon them. Are you wanting the word marriage, or wanting the rights that are conferred with the solemnity of the union? You have access to all of the privileges of the union.

There is nothing separate about civil unions, all of the very same legal protections are afforded. Any individual can choose to get married, just as any individual can choose to get a civil union. When you make a choice in life you have decided what is best for yourself. If a homosexual wants the legal protections afforded to committed “couples” those protections are available and afforded to them.

There is no “status” involved with marriage. You are either married or not. Just as there is no status involved with civil unions, you either have one or you don’t. It is legal protections that are involved, you either have them or you don’t.

Marriage is between a man and a woman. In order to change that, the constitution would need to be amended. In order to do that, in New Jersey, the people need to vote. Again, just reality.


We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one, then, because as I see it every one of your answers reinforces my point.

This is a quote from the Chief Justice’s dissent in the Lewis v. Harris case that sums up the point well:

“What we name things matters, language matters…Labels set people apart surely as physical separation on a bus or in school facilities…By excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage, the State declares that it is legitimate to differentiate between their commitments and the commitments of heterosexual couples. Ultimately the message is that what same-sex couples have is not as important or as significant as real marriage, that such lesser relationships cannot have the name of marriage.”

Civil marriage is a product of law, and the elected lawmakers of NJ are properly empowered to change that law. There’s not one reference to the word “marriage” in the NJ Constitution, and public referendums or constitutional amendments are not required to extent the status of “marriage” to same-sex couples – they are citizens too, and deserve to be treated the same under the law.

“Marriage is between a man and a woman” only because some people say so. There’s no requirement to live together, procreate or even to be good partners to be each other, and the decision to apply a gender test has no bearing on the success of the marriage – the 50% divorce rate is testament to that.

If two adults love each other enough to want to commit themselves to a marriage, then the fact that they were born in the same gender is as much beyond their control as their race, and we’ve established that race doesn’t matter.

You’ve also avoided providing a legitimate non-religious reason that justifies crafting a separate status for same-sex couples instead of just letting them get married like everyone else. The only purpose of a civil union law to is declare that some people can’t attain the status others can, so what’s the justification?

It may offend your religious and traditional sensibilities, but these people are not actually harming you in any way. In my grandparent’s time people living together without being married at all would be ostracized, but it’s accepted today because the private lives of others are accepted as just that – private. Why can’t same-sex couples have the right to live their lives in marriage while you live yours, respecting each other’s privacy and the right to be treated the same under the law as Americans?


As to the “not in my foxhole” bit, if the military commanders of the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Army say that gays should be able to serve openly in the army, then I don’t see who you (or anyone) are to argue with them. Israel, Russia, France, the UK, South Africa, Australia, and nearly every other modern country allows gays to serve openly. By keeping DADT we had a policy that was on par with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and China.

Nathan, how exactly are people who support gay marriage “anarchists”?

Whether you all like it or not, there is a considerable number of people in this country who consider themselves gay, and they aren’t going anywhere, whether or not you try and prevent them from marrying one another.

James K

All I see here are a bunch of people who can’t seem to grasp that granting certain people the same rights they enjoy, will in no way reduce their rights.

I have one question for Roseanne: How will allowing gay people to marry change your life?

James K

Wow… if that’s the “obvious step” in your mind, then I dunno. Terry, your reply is the biggest load of horse do-do I have ever seen on a conservative blog. And how do you go from people wanting to marry to “the law will no longer recognize marriage as a valid, binding relationship?” Even by your standards, that’s one helluva leap.

I’ll ask the question again. Outside of your religious objections, which have no place formulating laws in a country that separates church and state, how will gay marriage change your way of life? How will it affect you personally?

Simple answer – it won’t. Outside of your own petty fears, there isn’t a single logical reason you can give as to why two people who love each other shouldn’t enjoy the same benefits that a man and wife do, just because they’re the same gender. And yet you are quite willing to deny a group of people that basic right, purely based on your beliefs. Hating people because they are different to you, is a very slippery slope, which I can use as an analogy, seeing as you brought it up first.

And to use your example. So what if people want to marry threesomes or animals (again, really? Well, maybe in Iowa) – they won’t be doing anything your bedroom, so why don’t you stay out of theirs? Your wedding will still be sacred and holy, and if they’re going to burn so be it.

It’s none of your business.


So we progress to a point where any single adult is able to get a civil marriage license to marry another single adult without a religious test being applied to prevent it. Only in your mind is the next “obvious” step government license and sanction for bestiality and letting people marry non-senntient animals.

That’s a great example of flailing.


That is a slippery slope argument. No one is advocating allowing polygamy. Most people would agree that polygamy is harmful to society. As far as marrying animals that is just laughable.
The government currently recognizes parents now without marriage. Connecting gay marriage to government crèche is a big leap.

James K

And why is that bad? Because you have some bizarre notion that they’re going to be “groomed” into being gay too – because being gay is a choice.
Of course, the straight couples who abuse the kids they adopt are a-ok, I suppose.

Which is better Terry – being raised by abusive straights, or loving gays?


So Terry, wouldn’t you have to agree that the vast majority of homosexual people were born into male-female parental households? Doesn’t make any sense then, to deny adoption by same-sex couples on the grounds that their relationship would affect the “choice” the children make about their orientation.


Unsurprisingly, your response sidesteps the point entirely, being based on nothing but your opinion. The simple fzct is that most homosexuals were raised by heterosexual parents, so claiming that restricting adoption to heterosexual couples has no justification outside of your conservative /religious bias. Too many children will be raised in institutions instead of homes if you bias prevails, and i challenge anyone to prove the children would be better for that.

Sean K

“Show me a person who says that parents, and society, ought to allow a child to develop sexual orientation according to said child’s wishes and desires, and I will show you a homosexual(istic) recruiter.”

Phyllis Schlafly is a parent who allowed her children to develop sexuality as they wished? I find that difficult to believe, and I wonder how straight parents, since recorded history, have been raising homosexual children? What are they and Mrs. Schlafly doing wrong? Incidentally, the sane approach was once used with left-handed children – again because of religious bigotry.

The idea of denying a child’s perfectly normal and healthy sexual wishes is horrible. This risks creating repressed and confused adults who, for example, could spend almost all of their free time writing hateful articles on a wingnut wiki/blog about the homosexuality that they despise for having to repress it.

Ian Lister

To be fair, the bias against left-handed children goes far beyond Christianity. Many societies, from ancient Rome to the USSR have tried to stamp out lefties, a process that has left us with words like “gauche” and “sinister” vs others like “dexterous” and “right”.

And no, the fact I’m prepared to grant Terry this one point doesn’t mean I agree with all the anti-gay nonsense being spouted here.

Sean K

Ian, I agree completely. Religions are well established borrowers of pre-existing cultural traditions. One could be particularly cruel and describe Christianity and Islam as being Judaism fan fiction. I know plenty of Christians as friends and family, and it seems to me that they are good people because of who they are – not just because of their religious beliefs. If they wish to ascribe their kind actions to religion then that’s their business. I’ll credit them, not a god. If people want to Spout hateful nonsense, citing their God as the source, then I shall again give them credit due.

Oddly enough, they readily disregard whole chunks of Gods teachings when they’re clearly malevolent. People who base civil liberties on the correct use of a penis between consenting adults have far deeper problems than can come from religious fervor alone.

James K

“Then you avow that:
* The government ought to consider seriously setting up a public crèche and taking over the raising of children from their natural parents.”

What? Don’t put words in my mouth. I said no such thing. That’s your bias coming to the for.

What I said, is that it’s better to be raised by loving gays than by abusive straights… which you sublimated into putting them into a government institution. Because you’d rather see that happen, than than the children raised in a loving environment that you happen to disagree with.


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