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.
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.