Blue Jersey's Think Equal project is up with our third short, and in this one, married and civil unionzed receive unwanted advances at a bar. We make light of the confusion involved in the situation here, but consider the real world hassle of having to explain your lesser marital status. It's not only degrading, it automatically 'outs' a person to an employer or someone he or she feels uncomfortable sharing that information with. It's the legal and real world differences like this that make it so important that we settle for nothing less than marriage equality.
It's been a whirlwind week here in Trenton. The NJ State Assembly Judiciary Committee rushed through a discriminatory civil unions bill after only a few hours of public hearings. The vote was 4-2.
The bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo, and Judiciary Chairwoman Linda Greenstein cannot stop talking about how much they support equality. Showing up outside the hearing, Caraballo said, "This is a huge step, not the final step, but a huge step ... to making sure everyone has the right to be treated equally."
Add that to this gem from Assemblywoman Greenstein.
One gay couple, who opposed civil unions, said they were married in Massachusetts before moving to New Jersey recently. They wondered about their status now.
"I would like for you to tell me, are we married?" Julie Sullivan-Crowley asked.
"Apparently not," Greenstein answered. "I'd like to say you were."
Now, I'd like to say Assemblywoman Greenstein supports equality, but apparently not. Because her vote of assent gave a discriminatory bill "reccomended" status on the full Assembly floor.
And for what? If they want equality so badly, what are they afraid of? It can't be a primary or electoral challenge, because Massachusetts showed that is wrong. In fact, the only Massachusetts legislator to lose on account of marriage equality was someone who opposed it.
And they can't be opposing marriage equality because of the cost. A recent report showed that the state stands to gain more than $100 million every year in increased revenue. On the other hand, the discriminatory civil unions bill will cost the state money. Creating a separate, unequal system for civil unions is going to take a lot of New Jersey taxpayers' money. And then, this wholly new legal structure's terminology will need clarification in the courts, which will cost even more tax dollars.
It is complete nonsense. And what's more, it's not equality. Contact these and other NJ legislators at BlueJersey.com/ThinkEqual and tell them it's time they reconciled their imaginations with the facts, and their actions with their words.