Today the New Jersey State Supreme Court unanimously ruled that, according to the state’s constitution, same-sex couples cannot be denied the rights and benefits of marriage. While a majority stopped short of specifically granting the right to marry to same-sex couples, the court ordered the legislature to extend the same rights, whether through marriage or another institution.
“The New Jersey Supreme Court has blatantly and arrogantly ordered the state Legislature to rip up what marriage has meant for thousands of years,” said James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. “The justices have made clear their disdain and disrespect for the true decision makers in our democracy — the people — as well as for the institution of marriage.” He added: “Nothing less than the future of the American family hangs in the balance if we allow one-man, one- woman marriage to be redefined out of existence. And, make no mistake, that is precisely the outcome the New Jersey Supreme Court is aiming for with this decision.”
“This is a textbook example of agenda-driven judges who are willing to twist their state laws and invade the province of the legislative branch in order to force same-sex ‘marriage’ on the people of New Jersey,” said Jan LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for America. CWA President Wendy Wright added, “The New Jersey Supreme Court has distinguished itself once again for imposing its own form of discrimination by arrogantly declaring that a woman is not needed to make a marriage, or that a man is not.”
“This is nothing more than an act of veiled judicial activism,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. “As in Massachusetts and Vermont, the New Jersey Supreme Court has acted as a super-legislature imposing their will on the people of New Jersey. He called on the legislature to “ignore this ruling.” Dobson, Perkins, and Wright also said that the ruling should give impetus for voters in the 8 states with ballot initiatives regarding same-sex marriage.
Radio-talker Mark Levin, author of the anti-Supreme Court book “Men in Black,” asserted that the ruling was “as political as any I’ve seen.” “New Jersey joins Massachusetts in transitioning away from democratic government,” intoned Hugh Hewitt. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) quickly called for the passage of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, perhaps hoping to be the first member of Congress to do so.
Some struck a positive note. “This is a plus for those of us who have been pressing for a constitutional amendment that would limit marriage to a union between a man and a woman,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, explaining that he meant the case is “a wakeup call to the vast majority of Americans who are opposed to gay marriage but are reluctant to access the constitutional amendment process as the right remedy.”
Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Glen Lavy also called it a “wake-up call for people who believe that marriage doesn’t need constitutional protection.” According to Lavy, the court’s declining to require marriage over civil unions should be interpreted as “mak[ing] marriage meaningless” because it is characterized as “just another option along with other ‘unions.’”
Expect more tomorrow.