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February  14

Gay Marriage Rally Tonight

Gay_wedding_cake_2 Garden State Equality, a political organization for New Jersey gays and lesbians, has chosen a Montclair venue for what it's billing as "the most important rally in our community's history" -- a same-sex marriage rally set for 7 pm tonight at B'nai Keshet synagogue. Among the speakers will be James Dale, the New Jersey Eagle Scout who was kicked out of the Boy Scouts for being gay -- and who took his case to the US Supreme Court and won. CORRECTION (spotted by a friend at the Montclair Times): Dale won in the NJ Supreme Court and lost in the US Supreme Court.

Despite the romantic date, the rally has nothing to do with Valentine's Day. It's being billed as a "Night-Before-Supreme-Court Rally" because on Wednesday the New Jersey Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether to allow same-sex marriages in the state. Civil unions have been recognized in NJ since July of 2004.

B'nai Keshet is located at 99 South Fullerton Ave.

February 14, 2006 | Permalink


Then, tomorrow, join Garden State Equality's VISIBILITY CORPS in front of the New Jersey Supreme Court when it hears oral arguments on Wednesday morning, February 15 at 10:00 am.

The New Jersey Supreme Court is located at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex (8th Floor) at 25 Market St., Trenton.

Though the case is scheduled for 10 am; arrive early and be a part of Garden State Equality's show of support in front of the Hughes Justice Complex.

Space in the courtroom itself is very limited, but the public may watch the proceedings LIVE via streaming video at www.judiciary.state.nj.us/webcast/index.htm

Immediately following Wednesday's hearing, Garden State Equality will host a gathering with refreshments at the Trenton Marriott, 1 W. Lafayette St.

Posted by: intheknow | Feb 14, 2006 9:19:39 AM

"i wish i could quit you"

Posted by: The Iceman | Feb 14, 2006 9:27:46 AM

The only kind of marriage in God's eyes in between a man and a woman. Anything else is a sin. The Bible tells us so.

Posted by: Religion Is Right (8T) | Feb 14, 2006 9:59:42 AM

What if you don't believe in the literal translation of the Bible, RIR?

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 14, 2006 10:03:49 AM

Luckily for us, the state recognizes civil unions and affords them the economic benefits of marriage. No one is asking your church to perform same-sex unions.

If my 75-year-old mother (who, one hopes, is not planning to bear additional children) can enjoy the economic and social benefits of marriage, why can't a same-sex couple?

Posted by: intheknow | Feb 14, 2006 10:05:23 AM

or house of worship, sorry.

Posted by: intheknow | Feb 14, 2006 10:06:19 AM

We're not talking about "religious" marriage here, we're talking about a government sanctioned arrangement. There's no governmental rationale for preventing same-sex marriage that can stand up to scrutiny.

Posted by: appletony | Feb 14, 2006 10:07:05 AM

Well then I guess it's lucky for us that we have a separation of church and state.

That way we can "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
Mark 12:17

Posted by: Det. Fontana | Feb 14, 2006 10:07:34 AM

"I wish I could quit you. . . ."

I actually wish I had a dime for everytime someone has used this line in an attempt at humor in the past 3 months.

Posted by: montclair_is_crazy | Feb 14, 2006 10:26:27 AM

Shouldn't the benefits of marriage be also broadened to include unmarried couples? Shouldn't they be able to share insurance benefits, death benefits, etc?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 14, 2006 10:28:20 AM

That's a good point, ROC. Although most employers already allow you to include your SO on your health insurance policy, through its domestic partner rider.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 14, 2006 10:30:43 AM

ROC, that's the point: people who are willing to make a legal commitment to each other are being denied the legal benefits of such a commitment.

"unmarried couples" means nothing in a context where adult couples who wish to marry are prevented from doing so. Heterosexual couples who are just shacking up are not similarly situated.

Posted by: appletony | Feb 14, 2006 10:31:49 AM

Most employers MM? Where are you getting that?

And if true, then why all the fuss about gay marriage unless those same "most employers" *exclude* gay SO's?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 14, 2006 10:33:32 AM

But appletony, isn't that unfair. Let's say I am an atheist libertarian and my personal beliefs lead me to not seek a governmental "sanction" of my union or a religious one. Why shouln't my partner not receive the same benefits as a married couple? As a matter of fairness.

All the same "equal protection" and "separation of church and state" arguments would apply, no?

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 14, 2006 10:36:16 AM

If one chooses not to seek government sanction of an arrangement that yields government benefit, that's a personal choice. That choice is not available to same-sex couples. There is no "equal protection" argument to your scenario -- the heterosexual couple in question has the full protection of the laws in that marriage is available to them.

Posted by: appletony | Feb 14, 2006 10:42:06 AM

I think government should get out of the "marriage" business althogether. Government should only recognize "civil unions" which could be the partnership between a man and a woman or a same sex couple and confer all the statuses (inheritance, healthcare coverage, property ownership and medical decisions, etc)that come along with what we call marriage today.

Religious institutions could recognize individual civil unions at their discretion with a religious ceremony.

Posted by: Lisa | Feb 14, 2006 10:42:36 AM

"If one chooses not to seek government sanction of an arrangement that yields government benefit, that's a personal choice."

Couldn't the same argument be made against gay marriage?

"That choice is not available to same-sex couple"

Couldn't I also say that:

"That choice is not available to unmarried partners"


My point is that this is not a matter of a legal right. It is an arbitrary "border" of access drawn by society. Some parings will have benefits and some will not. That border is being moved to include gay couples (a move I support, BTW). But if the issue is framed as an "injustice" which the court will redress invites (IMHO) further challenges based on fairness. I don't see any logical reason that unmarried couples should be denied the same benefits.

(and there goes health insurance folks)

So I'd rather see it done in the legislature and not framed as an issue of fairness, but rather as a new definition of marriage we *agree* should be changed.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 14, 2006 10:48:59 AM

actually, I more agree with Lisa get the government *out* of marriage all together and pass whatever laws are necessary to enable people to define (inheritance, healthcare coverage, property ownership and medical decisions, etc) for themselves.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 14, 2006 10:50:50 AM


This reliance on the courts is ultimately destructive to Progressive causes. Progressives in this country have completely forgotten how to appeal to the voters and work through legislatures to make changes because they have relied on the courts too much.

It's bad politics, and I say that with a lot of love.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 14, 2006 10:55:21 AM

You can't say the choice is not available to unmarried partners because it absolutely is available to them.

I agree that legislation would be the best route, but I also view access to this benefit as a fundamental right. Our legislators are crassly inactive when it comes to championing equal (not "special") treatment of homosexuals.

Posted by: appletony | Feb 14, 2006 11:00:05 AM

I say let them get married so's they can be as miserable as the rest of us.

Posted by: ballandchain | Feb 14, 2006 11:03:11 AM

My sentiments as well, ballandchain. ;-)

Posted by: Miss Martta | Feb 14, 2006 11:05:44 AM


nothing prevents gay people from getting married to members of the opposite sex. It is just an arbitrary definition of what "marriage" is that is in question.

It has had the accepted definition of opposite sex prior, and now will be defined to include same sex. As a matter of fairness why should the definition be up to anyone but those involved?

Joni Mitchell used to sing "we don't need a piece of paper from the city hall, keeping us tied and truuuue, my old man...."

So, why shouldn't her "old man" get health insurance.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Feb 14, 2006 11:07:14 AM

Wasn't David Crosby her old man at the time ? Talk about problems getting health insurance later on ....

Posted by: man in the street | Feb 14, 2006 11:13:28 AM

Your argument doesn't stand. The government has no appropriate reason to force discrimination in this case based on sex. Same sex couples wanting to get married are not in the same legal position as opposite sex couples -- one couple has the choice, the other doesn't.

Joni Mitchell's "old man" wouldn't have automatic inheritance rights, either. Nor will they have tax treatment as a married couple. If Joni Mitchell's "old man" can get employer-provided insurance as her beneficiary, great. We're talking government benefits here. For example, Joni Mitchell's "old man" CAN be compelled to testify against her in court (unless it's a common law marriage state).

Posted by: appletony | Feb 14, 2006 11:15:56 AM

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