Yesterday, as a result of a court ruling, same-sex couples were able to get married in New Jersey, making it the 14th state to do so, along with the District of Columbia. This is of course an important step forward for equality but I thought it a telling sign of how same-sex marriage has become normalized, at least in the major media, that the story they seemed to focus on was governor Chris Christie’s decision to not appeal the lower court decision to the New Jersey Supreme Court and what impact that move would have on his chances to win the 2016 Republican nomination for president, assuming that he decides to run.
We have not yet reached the stage when a state recognizing same-sex marriage is treated as ho-hum news but we seem to be getting there. Just as there are nowadays fewer mentions of the first woman/black/Hispanic/other minority to achieve something major, it is only a matter of time when same-sex marriage is taken as the norm and the news worthy event is when there is a move away from it.
But while on the topic of Christie’s presidential ambitions, I wonder if he thinks that with the Republican field so crowded on the extreme right wing (Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum) that he sees an opening for a Republican who is even slightly different whom the non-crazies can rally round. There are undoubtedly many Republicans, especially in the business community, who think that the party is headed for further loss of support with its dead-end policy of opposition to gay rights. While that may be his calculation, the experience of Jon Huntsman, who got crushed when he tried a similar strategy in 2012 of trying to be seen as the sane one, is not encouraging.