Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Q Toon: Meeting the Founding Fathers

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vowed to veto any bill out of the state legislature extending marriage equality to same-sex couples.

When only judges had the temerity to find that the Constitution applies to gays and lesbians, conservatives would blast those "elitist judges" and call for legislatures to vote to keep homosexuals in their proper place. Now that legislative approval of marriage equality in New Jersey is all but guaranteed, the governor avers that the matter is too important to be left to the people's representatives and ought to be put to a vote of the people themselves.

My knee-jerk instinct was to draw parallels to the Black Civil Rights movement, but it seems Governor Christie has already done that:
“People would have been happy with a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets of the South.”
Likening the struggle for gay rights to other facets of the fight for civil rights, particularly for African-Americans, is debatable. Many on my side of the debate say that while the issues in both fights are not identical (I'll concede that there are more gays who are able to pass as straight than there are blacks who are able to pass as white), there are still significant similarities (you think LGBTs don't get lynched? It's called gay-bashing, and it still happens).

But out of respect for African American History Month, I decided to steer clear of that particular argument this week.

Besides, the ridiculous parallel I might have drawn had already come straight out of Christie's mouth. I'm pretty sure that referenda on civil rights would have gone down to defeat in many states in the '60's, and not just down in Dixie. I'm absolutely certain that the marriage of future President Obama's parents would have been voted down by the same caliber of people who today question his citizenship (I'm looking at you, Georgia Republicans).

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