BY ADELE SAMMARCO
“It is time. It’s the right thing to do.”
Those were the words of Washington Governor Christine Gregoire last month before she introduced a bill for same-sex marriage, making her state the seventh in the nation to legalize marriage between gay couples.
“I have been on my own journey. I will admit that. It has been a battle for me with my religion and I have always been uncomfortable with the position I took publicly and then I came to realize, the religions can decide what they want to do, but it is not okay for the state to discriminate,” said Gregoire.
Gregoire, a Roman Catholic, penned a letter to fellow Catholic, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, urging him to reconsider his opposition to legalize same-sex marriage in the Garden State.
Christie has vowed a “very swift veto” as the bill was delivered early Friday to his desk after the Assembly voted 42 to 33 Thursday.
The New Jersey State Senate passed the gay marriage proposal on Monday.
Christie believes the issue should go to a statewide referendum; however Democrats believe the issue is one of civil rights and equality, and insist it should not be put to a vote.
“It’s time for us to standup and accept, and respect religious freedom, but it’s time for us to standup and understand the state can not be in the business of discrimination,” said Gregoire.
Opponents of gay marriage argue the state should deny a marriage license to same-sex couples based on the premise that marriage is for procreation.
Gregoire shot back, “Do we then deny a license to heterosexual couples who choose not to have children? To those who can’t have children or those who adopt? To those who have children through in-vitro fertilization?”
Yet those who remain opposed to the matter say same-sex marriage weakens the institution of marriage.