Do the right thing

ASSOCIATED PRESS Gov. Chris Christie: He's a practical guy.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Gov. Chris Christie: He's a practical guy.
Posted: October 28, 2013

LOOKING AT the glowing faces of the brides and grooms in our neighboring state, it would be pretty hard not to feel their joy.

Some of you will manage not to, because the brides were marrying brides and the grooms were marrying grooms, after New Jersey's Supreme Court thwarted Gov. Christie's attempt to block same-sex marriage.

Looking at the faces, I felt happy, even though, like Christie, I oppose same-sex marriage.

If she finds out, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow will call me "anti-gay," because that's what she called Christie when he said he will accept the court's distasteful (to him) decision as law and obey it. (Are you listening Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Montgomery County Register of Wills Bruce Hanes?)

Maddow is deeply invested in this as she is both politically liberal and personally gay. Her MSNBC stablemate, Lawrence O'Donnell, clobbered Christie for doing what he and Maddow approve of - accepting the court's pro-gay marriage decision and not appealing it.

This bashing came as the radical right descended on the governor like hungry wolves.

How can you fairly call Christie anti-gay when he signed a bill outlawing so-called gay conversion therapy? Being anti-gay marriage is not proof of homophobia. There are other considerations.

Not gracious in victory, Maddow called Christie "craven," suggested he "surrendered" for political gain.

While it might help him win re-election (help he does not need, according to the polls), if he runs for president, "How does it help him in the Iowa primary?" asks Terry Madonna, director of the Franklin and Marshall College Poll. Because the Iowa GOP base is very conservative, Madonna doubts Christie was motivated by politics. "Christie is not an ideological Republican. He's a very practical guy."

Maddow continued by bitching that Christie should have said that he changed his mind.

Except he didn't change his mind. Christie said he would fight it to the state Supreme Court, which he did. He didn't say he would take it to the Supreme Court twice.

He hasn't changed his mind and I haven't changed mine.

I oppose gay marriage but I support civil unions. (Yes, I'm aware New Jersey had civil unions and the high court said they weren't good enough. The court chose to abandon civil unions rather than repair them.)

Since marriage is a sacrament, a function of the church, I'd prefer the state did not perform "marriages" for anyone. Only religious institutions should do that.

The state's civil unions should be identical to marriage under the law.

They haven't been in the past, Malcolm Lazin, executive director of the Equality Forum, tells me.

That is unfair and could be corrected. I believe in equality of treatment, not of language.

I fear unintended consequences if we mess with the millennia-old practice of defining marriage as one man and one woman.

If we don't have to stick to the gender in "one man and one woman," why do we have to stick to the number? How can we deny polygamy and polyandry to those who see those practices as part of their "human and civil rights"?

When I try that argument on my gay friends, most say it is "silly" and "won't happen."

Lazin says it's the argument lofted by the far right.

I don't care which end of the spectrum an argument comes from. I examine ideas on their own merits.

I guarantee you that 30 years ago the idea even of civil unions would have been preposterous. I fear that "same-sex marriage" will open a door to other practices I don't want to see in America.

Gay marriage does me no harm, but it does change the definition of marriage. First one change, then another?

Civil union = marriage is a touchdown. Gay "marriage" is spiking the ball.


Email: stubyko@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5977

On Twitter: @StuBykofsky

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