Arts & Entertainment
By D'Anne Witkowski
Originally printed 2/23/2012 (Issue 2008 - Between The Lines News)
Creep of the Week
Well, marriage equality was nearly realized in New Jersey. But one guy stood in the way. And that one guy was Governor Chris Christie who vetoed the legislation when it landed on his desk.
Granted, his veto was no surprise. Christie, a Republican, had been promising he would veto it all along.
"I am adhering to what I've said since this bill was first introduced - an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide," Christie said after vetoing the bill. "I continue to encourage the Legislature to trust the people of New Jersey and seek their input by allowing our citizens to vote on a question that represents a profoundly significant societal change."
An interesting way of looking at things, to be sure. Because last time I checked, the Legislature was elected by the people to, you know, represent them. So isn't Christie, by vetoing the bill, telling the people of New Jersey that he doesn't trust them?
As I said, this veto isn't a surprise. Christie doesn't want to piss off the conservative base - though I think "conservative bass" is more appropriate. It's not that they're the foundation of the party, it's just that they've got the biggest mouths and make the most noise. In the GOP, the lunatics truly have taken over the asylum. And Christie is playing to those lunatics, not the people of New Jersey he claims to trust so much.
For Christie, marriage equality isn't about people's actual lives and civil rights, it's about his political career. The man has political ambitions, to be sure, and there are plenty of folks, including himself, who would like to see a President Christie someday. So no way in hell does Christie want to be where Mitt Romney is now: trying to explain to the rabid right-wingers how he was in charge of Massachusetts when it became Gay Marriage U.S.A.
As Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, said, of Christie, "He won't veto the bill because he's anti-gay. He'll veto the bill because the 2016 South Carolina presidential primary electorate is anti-gay."
Christie's "solution" to the marriage equality problem in New Jersey is to let the voters decide. A referendum, damn it! When criticized for saying that civil rights should be put to a popular vote, Christie actually said this: "The fact of the matter is that I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South."
That's right. He saying we should have put civil rights for blacks in America to the majority to decide. And why not? I mean, surely that would have been a whole lot more civilized. Instead of aiming fire hoses as black protesters, racist assholes could have gone behind a curtain and voted instead. And happily, I might add. No doubt this would have worked out fine for black people.
Christie later backpedaled, but you really can't unsay a thing like that. Though I suppose some could look at his analogy as encouraging. I mean, at least he's equating marriage equality with civil rights. But, of course, he has no problem being openly against such a thing.