Posts Tagged 'Judiciary Committee'

Floor Vote on Gay Marriage Scheduled for Thursday

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Last night, the New Jersey State Senate Judiciary committee passed legislation legalizing gay marriage by a 7-6 vote. Republican Bill Baroni, pictured right, was the decisive vote. The bill will now face a full floor vote on Thursday. My gut prediction is that this will fail, much like it failed last week in New York. Two Democrats, Committee Chair Paul Sarlo and Vice Committee Chair John Girgenti, voted against the bill in committee and getting this to 21 votes in the full Senate will be difficult. Most likely, the Democrats just want to be able to say they took action.

I never write much, if anything ever, about social issues. Social issues are not what wake me up in the morning. However, since the State Senate is considering the legislation, and it is the most high profile issue confronting our elected representatives, I suppose I will weigh in. This type of social engineering is the province of the voters. If they want gay marriage, so be it. If they do not, so be it. Marriage is not a civil institution. Defining marriage is not one of the two or three essential functions of government and it should be up to the people to decide what type of society they want to live in.

If this issue were confronting me via the initiative and referendum, I would probably vote no. Government does not exist to define personal relationships. Expanding the definition of marriage to include same sex couples would expand the power of government to create and bestow rights. There is nothing stopping a gay couple from buying two rings and calling each other a married couple. What they want is the official government signed, sealed and approved piece of paper saying they are married. Why do we want government to have that type of power over our lives? The pro-gay marriage side argues this is a fundamental issue of liberty but how free are you in a world where you have to obtain an official permission slip from the government in order to call you and your partner a married couple?


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