Defending the Slippery Slope
N.J. governor signs gay civil unions law
Tom Hester (AP Writer)
"We must recognize that many gay and lesbian couples in New Jersey are in committed relationships and deserve the same benefits and rights as every other family in this state," Gov. Jon S. Corzine said in signing the legislation.
NJ becomes the third state in the Union to legalize some form of same-sex relationships. The new law provides many of the same legal protections and rights for heterosexual couples but opts to call this "civil union" rather than marriage. Opponents as well as gay activist worry that this may set up a parallel track of separate (equal or not) cases leading to more complicated and uneven legislation. Other more conservative or traditional people tend to see it as an eroding of social fabric and the institution of (heterosexual) marriage.
"It's same-sex marriage without the title," said John Tomicki, president of the New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage. "It uproots the cardinal values of our culture."
While I can understand some of Mr. Tomicki's sentiment, I feel like he's only looking at one half of the puzzle. The other half is that what uproots marriage, whether it is heterosexual or same-sexed, is the high rate of divorce. If you want to protect the institution of marriage, then your focus ought to be about strengthening the partners in a relationship, not scapegoating someone else's relationship to explain why your own institutional view and lifestyle is failing.