Strange bedfellows

When the New Jersey legislature approved civil unions for same-sex couples in 2006, conservative foes predicted cataclysm.

Perhaps the absence of catastrophe is why some folks on the right now seem to love a law they once loathed.


Supporters of a proposed marriage equality measure testified Tuesday in Trenton about heartbreaking debacles in emergency rooms, and even at a funeral home, due to confusion about the nature of civil unions. These victims, along with a progressive cornucopia of clergy, were the majority of the pro-equality witnesses before the state Senate’s judiciary committee; an observer might have concluded that gay life is defined by either tragedy, sanctity, or both.

But for sheer sanctimoniousness, it would be hard to top testimony by some marriage equality foes. An “ex” gay, a diverse contingent of mainstream clergy, and a critic of Alfred Kinsey were among naysayers who, when not citing specious, if impressive-sounding, studies about the inherent horribleness of homosexuality, called for stricter enforcement of the 2007 civil union law.

Apparently the prospect of  equal treatment for same-sex couples seeking civil marriage in New Jersey is so frightening, it can transform foes of civil unions into fans.

Or into proponents of a statewide marriage equality referendum.