New Jersey’s Fun-House Mirror

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

Rant, following:

Originally from the New Jersey Watchdog, but I found it on

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.



  1. F says

    I don’t think anyone wants to change what constitutes marriage. It’s just that some people who are not allowed to be married want to share and enjoy.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    That’s pretty much it, F. But now, Christie has vetoed. So that the voters can decide. As if he couldn’t have signed it and had the voters decide after that. Bastard.

  3. says

    I was listening to the live stream of the Maryland House of Delegates as they “debated” our bill here. I had to turn it off (or get a bucket) when Delegate George from Anne Arundel started talking about “self-evident” rights, and how that wasn’t supposed to mean they were obvious to people, but that the rights were evident to themselves. Because of a higher power or something.

    I would very much enjoy watching the shambling zombie of Thomas Jefferson shuffle from his grave and beat Del. George senseless with a moldy copy of the Declaration of Independence.

    The bill passed despite such clever logical arguments against it, and now goes to the Senate, which passed it last year, and then to Governor O’Malley, who has promised to sign it. Take that, Jersey! Maryland beats you in the race toward non-bigotry!

  4. Trebuchet says

    They have the right to live as they please, except when my group decides they don’t.

    Fixed that for him. Of course, he’s almost certainly lying in the original quote anyhow, and would happily see them sent to prison.

  5. Die Anyway says

    I still think that the answer is to make marriage a religious ritual like baptism or Bar Mitzvah. It has no connotation outside of the church of your choice. Government has no connection to it what-so-ever. It gets you nothing but smiles and nods from your fellow parishoners.
    Those other aspects; taxes, inheritance, medical decisions, joint property, … all that is a civil contract available to all citizens.

  6. Cuttlefish says

    I kinda sorta agree, DA–now, what shall the religious institution be called? The civil one is already called “Marriage”.

  7. The Ridger says

    Another NJ R, Gerald Cardnale, actually said:

    The bill would “create discrimination against many other co-habiting couples,” such as siblings who have decided to live as a household, he said. “If we open marriage to some same-sex couples, in the name of anti-discrimination, why not to all couples?” Cardinale said.

    From which I am forced to conclude that either opposite-sex siblings can now get married, or Cardenale thinks that’s okay.

  8. The Ridger says

    ps – Actually, not, of course, but folks like Cardenale really annoy me. Anyway, call it “Holy Matrimony”, of course.

  9. says

    In response to DA’s comment: As DC points out, the current civil contract is called “marriage”. Sure, we could spend a million person-hours sifting through all the local, state, and federal laws and regulations, replacing “marriage” with “civil union” everywhere it occurs. And then hope that popular usage changes to match the legal update. But Ciardi’s Law (“Language works the way it does because it does”) implies that there’s nothing we can do to force that change, even if we get the laws all changed.

    So it makes most sense to continue to call the civil union “marriage”, and come up with a new term for the religious ceremony and union. Since the religious union (we’re always told) is all about love, I propose (in honor of the greatest love story ever), “mawwiage”.

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