NJ mayor vows not to perform civil unions or marriages for gay couples
In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
— Alabama Governor George Wallace, from his inaugural speech (1963, before his first term as governor)
No! I’m not doing it! They’re not going to force me to do civil unions. They’re going to have to put a gun to my head. Even then it’s going to be a challenge.”
— Bogota, New Jersey Mayor Steve Lonegan, who doesn’t seem to realize that he will have to perform the ceremonies or run afoul of the state’s anti-discrimination laws.
Boo-hoo for Lonegan — it must be so hard to be a homophobic public official in the Garden State these days. Whining clowns like Lonegan are going to be sh*t out of luck if they refuse to either marry or perform civil unions for gays and lesbians once the NJ legislature decides how to comply with October’s state Supreme Court ruling by next April.
The law authorizes and requires elected and appointed officials mayors, county clerks, judges to perform marriages or CUs; they can’t opt out for religious reasons as clergy can.
Well, Lonegan can always resign.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, huh? Reading those above pullquotes back to back confirms why civil rights for gays and lesbians should never be decided at the ballot box. Bigots of all stripes, indeed the public at large, are never comfortable — and more often than not are hostile — when it comes to granting rights to an oppressed group.
Time eventually reduces the hostility over time, but in the end, it is the courts that end up protecting and establishing rights when people cannot do the right thing because of fear and prejudice.
The sad difference today in the struggle for gay civil equality is that both political parties at the national level have accepted and promoted the proposition that it’s fine and dandy that our rights should be determined by the American public.
“Integration is a matter to be decided by each state. The states must determine if they feel it is of benefit to both races.”
— Wallace, in Indianapolis, during the 1964 presidential primary