Is Gay Marriage A Simple Issue?

In the New Jersey’s 11th legislative district, which comprises much of Monmouth County, 6 of the 7 candidates vying for 3 seats, one in the Senate and two in the Assembly, have come out in favor of same sex marriage.  Two of the candidates, Republicans Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini said they would break with their party and vote to override Governor Christie’s veto of a same sex marriage if given the opportunity.

Republican Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande has corrected the widely held perception that she would vote against gay marriage by saying only that she hasn’t publicly taken a position on the issue.   She said her focus has been on fiscal issues and that she would need to study the civil union law before taking a stand on gay marriage.

Casagrande’s refusal to take a position on the politically expedient schedule of Garden State Equality has drawn criticism from her opponent Dan Jacobson and others.  Jacobson said the issue has already been hotly debated and the issue should be simple.

Casagrande says it’s not so simple, “I haven’t seen a bill,” said Casagrande,  “What about protections for religious institutions?  If the issue is so simple, why did Steve Sweeney vote no and then change his mind later?”

If the issue was really simple, Blue Jersey blogger Jay Lassiter, Save Jersey Blogger-in-Chief Matt Rooney and I would not have been able to spend over 40 minutes discussing it on the radio yesterday.

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The issue is not simple to me.  I believe that all people should have equal rights under the law.  I don’t believe that homosexuals are deviant or immoral.  I believe homosexuals are the way God made them.  I created an exercise to demonstrate that sexual orientation is not a choice almost three years ago.  Check it out only if you’re willing to be disturbed.

Yet, I understand those who are morally opposed to gay marriage.  I understand the argument that marriage is an institution that was defined milleniums ago, before any government that currently exists on our planet was conceived.  I understand the desire of those who live their lives dedicated to or in aspiration of those traditions not to have their marriages redefined by a legislative body with an approval rating below 30%.

I suspect those who think the issue is simple, pro or con, think their opposites are just wrong.  I suspect many who think the issue is simple, pro or con, have little respect for and even have distain for those who disagree with them.  I think that is wrong.

Listen to the show, it you care about the issue.  It is an interesting and civil conversation between three smart people with differing views who found enough common ground that Lassiter suggested the three of us run for the legislature together.

The first 18 minutes of the show is Matt and I talking politics and a three minute break to fix some technical difficulties.  Jay joins us at the 18:20 mark.  In the last ten minutes of the show there is some good natured political sparring.

I hope that you are entertained and informed by the show, which was sponsored by Repatriot Radio.

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Posted: September 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Marriage Equality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

8 Comments on “Is Gay Marriage A Simple Issue?”

  1. Dan Jacobson said at 5:56 pm on September 21st, 2011:

    Respectfully, I’m not accepting Caroline Casagrande’s explanation. Her running mates have taken a stand. Everyone else in the 11th District race has taken a stand. Governor Christie has taken a stand. Steve Sweeney has taken a stand — after apologizing for initially taking a political stand on this moral issue. That’s why Sweeney reversed his position. Not because of its complexity.

    There’s no need to see a bill. It’s quite simple: Should there be marriage equality or not? And if you want to qualify that by adding that there should be protections for religious institutions, everyone agrees with that. It was already done in New York. If a bill eventually comes up that doesn’t provide those protections, then you can say that then.

    As a supporter of same sex marriage, I should be praising Caroline for seeming to move off a position that most people thought she held. But I’m not. I’d rather have her just decisively say she opposes it then engage in this bullshit.

    Because there’s a bigger principle here — whether someone has the maturity and serousness to hold this office. Saying that you can’t take a stand on this bill because you’ve been busy with fiscal affairs, as Caroline said a couple days ago, is nonsense. And everyone knows it.

    Marriage equality is a major issue, but it’s certainly not the biggest one facing voters. The biggest problems are economic. But even bigger than that is whether we are going to stop electing people who are just playing games. That’s my objection to what Caroline is saying. That’s what she’s doing here. And it’s what makes me go ballistic about politicians.

    I’m actually a bit stunned by Caroline’s gamesmanship. After all, last week I wrote that I’d likely vote for her if I wasn’t running because we seem to share similar economic views, even if I disagree — or at least I thought I disagreed — with her on social issues like abortion and same sex marriage.

    My advice to Caroline is simple. Stop this nonsense. Take a position like everyone else is able to do. And let’s all move on, and forget this ever happened. Otherwise, your failure to take a stand will become a major issue in your new district.

    And I assure you it will become a major issue between the two of us in my capacity as an editorialist and candidate. Sure, I will always generously give you equal time in an equally prominent place in my newspaper. But I would rather not have us in such an adversarial relationship. I don’t know how much friendlier and more respectfully I can put it.

    Dan Jacobson

  2. Jim Sage said at 6:23 pm on September 21st, 2011:

    Future prediction: Caroline will come out for marriage equality after Mary Pat and Jennifer whisper into her ear, ” just say your for it. Thats what our new constituents want, and thats what they want to hear.”

    Its just a matter of time Dan before Caroline comes out for it.

  3. AUDIO: Save Jersey’s Matt Rooney Talks Election 2011, Gay Marriage on the Radio | Save Jersey said at 6:29 pm on September 21st, 2011:

    […] provides a good summary of yesterday’s “Real Jersey Guys Radio” show discussion over at his blog, MoreMonmouthMusings. In brief: the show’s first 18 minutes consisted largely of Art and Matt discussing politics […]

  4. James Hogan said at 7:21 pm on September 21st, 2011:

    Should every child’s bedtime be 7pm? 8pm? No mandatory bed time? Seems like a simple question, sure, but again, I sure hope Caroline stays focused on the important issues, or at the least, issues that the government should be involved in.

    Or another way to look at it, want to talk aerospace engineering or quantum physics now? Those aren’t simple issues either, Caroline and every other government representative should share their thoughts.

  5. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Is Gay Marriage A Simple … | badPuppies said at 8:51 pm on September 21st, 2011:

    […] View original post here: MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Is Gay Marriage A Simple … […]

  6. Freespeaker1976 said at 9:49 pm on September 21st, 2011:

    Personally, I have come to the decision that I am going to bullet vote only for Casagrande.

    I can not vote for Mary Pat because of the anti-bullying bill; talking with some educators; this is a night mare which is taking too much time away from actually educating.

    Jenn Beck? I can not stand flip floppers and showboats. I seriously hope someone challenges her in the district next time.

  7. Freespeaker1976 said at 9:52 pm on September 21st, 2011:

    Dan said

    “And I assure you it will become a major issue between the two of us in my capacity as an editorialist and candidate. ”

    Gee, that seems like an implied threat. Maybe we do need that anti bullying law after all for people like Dan.

    But the reality is, who will really be listening to you Dan? As Mr. Hogan and others are oft to say; about 90 votes in the district.

  8. MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » Casagrande’s Cowardice said at 11:15 am on September 25th, 2011:

    […] noted here, six of LD11’s seven legislative candidates have come out in support of gay marriage. […]