Thursday, October 26, 2006

Where Are You, Vito?

New Jersey Court Backs Full Rights for Gay Couples - New York Times

Oh, if only Vito had survived the first 12 episodes of season six of The Sopranos. One can only imagine what David Chase might have made of the sudden possibility of him marrying a man. He could have made an honest man of Johnny Cakes!

Yesterday's ruling in New Jersey is a plot point in more than an HBO serial, though. Coming so close to the election, it could have served (and still might) as a spark to drive rabid cultural "conservatives" to the polls to stem the tide of equality.

But the court was quite careful in its ruling, and while that saddens me as a gay man, it gladdens my Democratic heart. While I had already cast my ballot when the ruling came down--we went yesterday before lunch, and thank goodness, as the ballot was 14 screens long and will make many voters late for work--a great many folks could have taken a full-out declaration of gay marriage in New Jersey as a sign of the apocalypse. Civil unions--the likely outcome, given that most of the Democrats who control N.J. politics don't support using the "M" word--are a little less scary. And the waiting period between now and when the legislature figures out what to call this thing that's got all the rights and financial benefits of marriage should allow time for cooling off--and let the election pass, hopefully unaffected.

Besides, if marriage had been allowed, think of all the gays and lesbians who would have been forced to travel to Atlantic City! If we're going to have a gay marriage capital of America, let's make it someplace nice. Aren't they talking about remaking Navy Pier? Start playing "In the Navy" on the pier and Chicago could become quite the tourist destination!

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