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Christie's gay marriage veto is history repeating itself

mccarthyJohn020612_optBY JOHN McCARTHY
COMMENTARY

Chris Christie recently vetoed a bill that would legalize gay marriage in New Jersey, claiming, “an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide.” This “toss it to the voters” mentality may be the latest in his political bag of tricks, but majority vs. minority right disputes are nothing new in American Politics. Historic trends show that when given the opportunity, the majority will always preserve its own self-interest over the rights of a minority. The Governor should ask himself: did history teach us nothing?

Travel back to me with me to 1865, really the first major step in American Civil Rights—we passed the 13th Amendment to the constitution. This Amendment would legally end slavery in the United States, and abolish involuntary servitude. As reconstruction got underway and eleven confederate states found their way back into American life, the newly freed slaves found that life had not changed much at all. They had few advocates who could speak on their behalf, and state after state continued to pass “black codes” to systematically keep the new-Americans out of everyday life. Without the ability to find steady employment, many were imprisoned, prevented from purchasing land and denied a fair wage for their labor. Though a law existed, the minority still lost.

In 1892 the Supreme Court handed down Plessy vs. Ferguseen, which told a still fractured nation that “separate and equal” was acceptable, providing that facilities were actually equal in nature. Human nature prevailed, and the minority was repeatedly given the separate and denied the equal. It would take until 1954 for the Supreme Court to hand down Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, which said that separate is inherently unequal. Still, state legislatures around the country continued to fight the implementation of desegregation. Though a court ruling existed, the minority still lost.

The fight of majority versus minority was never limited to race or ethnicity. Despite the 1963 Equal Pay act, which prohibited discrimination in pay based on gender, women do not make equal pay to their male counterparts. Despite the1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for a person with disabilities, the disabled continue to find discrimination in the employment process.



 
Comments (2)
NJ
2 Saturday, 25 February 2012 16:33
Mary123
This is an age of increasing acceptance and approval of homosexuality. Homosexuality is portrayed by many in government, in public education and in our colleges and universities as just one of many normal, legitimate lifestyle choices.

Some people engage in “gay bashing.” But it must be remembered that people who engage in such activities are sinning against God and they are not at all living in accordance with the law of Christ. The true Christian loves the homosexual and shows it by giving him equality., Where are gay rights?? Where is the equality??

Christie is a coward who has now passed the buck to the people. In my opinion Christie has a god complex. He speaks of New Jersey's unemployment rate dropping, but he fails to mention the people that are living life after their 99 weeks of unemployment. They are off the rolls, thus unemployment dropped. Maybe the Governor can tell us how our Social Service and Food Stamp Department are surviving ? When is the Governor going to open the HUD list so the unfortunate people who lost their homes people can move out of a government funded Hotel or Motel who charge $2,500 or more a month for 1 room crammed with a family of four. Or the people who are homeless and living in their cars? Christie can candy coat how well he's doing in the State of NJ. But we know it is all BULL!! He has destroyed the state as we knew it.
1 Saturday, 25 February 2012 15:24
Joseph Jablonski
Like the article! Though I of course declare myself to be in support of traditional marriage and also civil unions (not gay marriage), I agree that simply leaving things to popular vote doesn't truly determine what is just.

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