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The Valentines Present

Equality

Marriage is a horseshit institution. You may be reading this beside your loving spouse and wonder what I’m talking about. After all, you’ve got it pretty good. You’re living the American Dream. How can it be horseshit? Just look at the map above.

This is the an image of a coherent system. The problem is that any institution built on apartheid is broken. The system that doesn’t even intend to work for everyone is built on shaky ground. Today marriage is being used as a weapon against a whole class of people. It’s not the first time in history that this has happened, and I’m afraid it won’t be the last.

That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with the ideal of marriage. Letting consenting adults partner up the way they choose seems to work for a lot of people, so it’s no surprise that those who have been so long disenfranchised fight so hard for equal footing.

And it was nice to see the New Jersey Senate make a symbolic gesture in this direction the day before Valentines Day by voting 24-16 in favor of equality.

Don’t start hiring florists just yet, NJ queer community. Governor Christie has promised to veto this. He’s terrified of being “The Republican Governor Who Gave Gays Some Rights” the way that Mitt Romney is “The Republican Governor Who Gave People Health Care”. That would mean losing a lot of supports in that part.

Let’s think about that for a moment. These are the people we’re dealing with. Those whose knee jerk inclinations are against equality and health care. They apparently also hate puppies and rainbows.

Here’s Christie’s thinking. A hot button referendum like this is going to unearth tons of voters who get off on voting against gay folk. While they’re out, they’re likely going to vote for the Republican guy running for President. If that guy wins, he owes Christie big.

If that guy looses, Christie gets to run in 4 years, and doesn’t have to worry about facing the mouth breathers who vote in Republican primaries as a guy who signed a Marriage Equality bill, which in that race is akin to carrying an autographed picture of Stalin.

So who knows where this is going to end up. You need 27 votes to overturn a veto. Either way, a bunch of politicians took a vote on what seemed like a hopeless issue and made a statement. Good for them. It was still the nicest Valentines Day present they could give, even to us who aren’t gay (or planning on getting married).

Update: The NJ Assembly has now voted for Equality, 44-33. Still not enough to override a veto.

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