Monday, February 19, 2007

Jersey State of Mind

A law that allows same-sex couples in New Jersey to enter into civil unions took effect at 12:01 a.m. today. Couples have already begun to line up at municipal clerks offices across the state to take advantage of this law. This new law, while not perfect by any means, is certainly a giant step forward towards full equality for all couples in New Jersey. But what does the word equality actually mean? New Jersey lawmakers -- and Gov. Jon Corzine -- have defined equality for same-sex couples as a legal union that provides all of the benefits of marriage without calling it marriage. Politically prudent? Perhaps? But nomenclature is important and these couples remain on an unequal playing field until the state recognizes their relationships in the same way that it recognizes heterosexual relationships through marriage. So yes, New Jersey made the right decision to allow gay and lesbian couples to enter civil unions. But there is still much more that it needs to be done in order to treating all of its citizens equally [in marriage].

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