13 February 2012
One Governor Gets It, Another Doesn't
Being Catholic is not an excuse.
It seems that Christine Gregoire understands that. But someone in that foreign country, er, state, across the river from where I live doesn't.
Yesterday, Ms. Gregoire signed the legislation that made Washington the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage. "I'm proud of who and what we are as a state," she said.
Although she doesn't use her Roman Catholic faith as a rationale for what she does as a lawmaker, she doesn't make her faith a secret, either. And, apparently, she sees no contradiction between her beliefs and allowing non-heteorosexual people to enjoy a right heterosexual people take for granted.
Would that I could say the same of Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey. Today, his state's Senate passed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage. The same body rejected the bill two years ago, when Jon Corzine was still the governor. During his campaign, and ever since, Christie said he would veto the bill and has called for a referendum on the issue.
Steven Goldstein, the chairman of Garden State Equality, has denounced Christie's move, saying that "the rights of a minority can't be trusted to the majority." In principle, he may be right. However, he may not have as much to fear as he believes: In a recent poll, the majority of New Jersey residents said they favor legalizing gay marriage. That is the first time the majority has expressed such a view in the state, and the numbers of people who support same-sex marriage have increased every time a poll has been taken.
And, if I'm not mistaken, more New Jersey residents are Roman Catholic than of any other religion. For them, it's not an excuse to perpetuate inequality. Funny how Chris Christie doesn't see it that way.