Assemblyman Jay Webber, R-Whippany, said his party’s opposition to the same-sex marriage bill is not about judging anyone or imposing a moral point of view.
“Gay and lesbian New Jerseyans have every right to live as they please, but they shouldn’t be able to tell others what constitutes marriage,” Webber said.
My right to decide
For a gay groom or bride
Is a matter of freedom, you see—
I’ve a right to my view
And to force it on you
But you mustn’t impose one on me.
You can live as you please
Which as everyone sees
Is enough, to a certain degree;
Though your views may be fine
They will never trump mine…
And that’s how we know we are free
Only Governor Chris Christie now stands between bigotry and equality, and he has assured us he stands with bigotry. He would never use that phrase, of course, but you learn more from a person’s actions than their words.
For instance, consider Assemblyman Webber’s words above; they are a perfect argument in favor of same sex marriage. I agree with him, that in this case one group is trying to define marriage for another group, and it is not right for them to do so. But Webber’s words bear only a passing resemblance to this thing we call reality. The group that is forcing, and the group that is being relegated to second-class status, are of course completely reversed. It’s a neat trick, and it would be fascinating to watch if people were not at stake.
During the debate, 20 people spoke in favor of the bill (all Democrats) and only 3 spoke against. Given that Webber’s argument was intended to be against the bill, it seems clear to me that the reason more assemblymen did not speak was that there are no good arguments. Their position is morally bankrupt, but an important part of their tribal identity. They must vote against it, even while knowing it is the wrong thing to do.