Monday, January 30, 2012

Reason #121: Candor

I think I've spoken enough on this blog in support of gay marriage (just click the link on the right) that I can afford to reach across the aisle for just a second and say a little something in defense of Republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Quick recap - the New Jersey legislature has been making noise about possibly granting the state gay marriage in bill form, a la New York last summer. After wobbling back and forth slightly (and only a week after naming a gay man to the state Supreme Court), Governor Christie today confirmed that he would veto such a bill were it to arrive at his desk, and said that the gay-marriage question would be better handled as a voter referendum a la California's Prop 8 (and likely with a similar result).

Oh, and he may have called somebody "numbnuts" at one point. But anyway...

I don't agree with his position on vetoing a bill. And I don't agree that this particular matter is crying out for a referendum - the last time Jersey put a civil-rights issue to a referendum was in 1915 when they decided that no, women shouldn't be allowed to vote just yet.

But these are not fringe positions. Gay marriage is working its way through all kinds of legal procedures at the moment, and it's 100% clear to me that if New Jersey's voting public looked more likely to okay gay marriage than its current legislature, the debate would be going the other way right now. So you can't really adopt a "victory by any means" approach and then give people shit for cherry-picking which means they feel are appropriate. You can fight it, certainly, but Christie isn't out of line to react this way.

The main point here is that Chris Christie strikes me as fairly moderate on this issue for a Republican governor. He's openly in favor of civil unions, which was John Kerry's position in 2004 and is still Obama's "position" today. I think it's good for the gay rights folk to take a breath once in a while and think about the people they're arguing against, because one thing Christie doesn't do is prevaricate (see: nuts, numb). The second he decides personally that he's okay with gay marriage, he won't let conversative pressure stop him from saying so, and that would be a huge coup for our side. He may not be with us today, but give him a wide enough birth (insert fat joke here) and he may surprise us in a couple years. Rip him a new asshole (insert gay joke here), and you'll just push him further away.

In my opinion.

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