We are one step closer to equality in New Jersey. On Friday, September 27th (my nephew’s birthday), Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled that denying gay people the right to get married was to deny them federal protection and benefits.
Joy & jubilation!!
And then our beloved governor (and I say beloved through gritted teeth in the most bitterly sarcastic tone possible) has announced that he will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Anger & fist waving!!
Now, I have always contended that equality setbacks fuel the fire and have got us where we are today – closer to fine. That’s the first and most likely the last time I’ll quote an Indigo Girls song because I don’t know any other songs. I’m a lesbian who doesn’t listen to the Indigo Girls and a Jew who doesn’t like Woody Allen. I am not entertained by anxiety. I live it.
My point was supposed to be that we’re on a path for equality and it’s moving in the right direction, albeit slowly. And my other point was that when bad people say and do mean things, it only makes us that much stronger. Makes us work a little bit harder. Makes us that much wiser. So I say thanks, Chris Christie, for making us fighters. That may not be the last time I quote Christina Aguilera.
Christie was foiled once already: the Democratic-led state legislature struck down his plan to put equality to a popular vote, right after he vetoed the same-sex marriage bill they had passed. He’s sure to be disappointed once more when the Supreme Court of New Jersey takes its cue from the U.S. Supreme Court. Furthermore, the New Jersey Supreme Court Justices would not want to cross the I.R.S., dare they invite a tax audit. So, while our yet-another-wedding may still be seen from a distance, and I will definitely quote Bette Midler again, we know that, well, there ain’t no stopping us now.
I’m going to take the protracted journey to legally wed as a gift of time, not to prepare for our yet-another-wedding but to practice saying wife. While so many same-sex couple friends embraced the word long before marriage equality was even fathomable, it never felt right for us. It was a label reserved for the very official and nationally recognized. For as much as I knew that Gabriella and I were just as married as our straight married friends, I couldn’t get past the legality, however flawed. Once we’re lawfully wed in New Jersey, there will be no getting around it. Gabriella will be the ball and chain, ‘er indoors, the old lady, the missus and also my wife, that is if she’ll have me.
I ‘spose I should also practice saying hey, what are you doing the rest of your life? (Because I can’t quote Bette without quoting Barbra.)
[PHOTO CREDIT: DEBORAH GOLDSTEIN]