The Right of Marriage

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New Jersey has become the 14th state to legalize gay marriage, as of 12:01AM Monday October 21. This means 28% of all the states have now legalized gay marriage in the United States.

This was not easy in New Jersey. The road to this point has been rocky and bumpy all along the way. Legal suits to delay implementation were dismissed on Thursday by the State Supreme Court, paving the way for ceremonies to be presided over by mayors of Lambertville, Jersey City, Trenton, Asbury Park, Newark and other cities in the state. But in the end, the rights enjoyed by the rest of us are now enjoyed by all of us.

You know what? Congratulations, it’s about time.

I am not gay, but as far as I am concerned, the importance of this issue stands around 892 in the 500 most pressing issues facing America today. I have fought for the civil rights of African-Americans, Hispanics, women, gays and lesbians generally, and other protected groups. My stance on this issue, therefore, is consistent with my positions I have taken in the past.

On March 27, 2013, I wrote a commentary called, “Civil Unions, Marriage, Matrimony” where I outlined my beliefs on this issue. Since then, I have written other commentaries, most recently this month, on October 2, titled “The Pain of Discrimination.” In it, I review a situation where a photographer refused to take pictures of a lesbian couple during their wedding, and presented my opinion.

In addition, in June, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the states need to address this issue and resolve it essentially post-haste. Ultimately, this issue is a distraction brought forth by a vocal minority, who wish to force their sense of morality on the majority. Folks, understand that American people have become enlightened and understand that the violation of one person or group’s civil rights is a violation of everyone’s civil rights.

I received a response to one of my commentaries recently that same-sex marriage is a sin in my religion, and that by condoning it I was committing  a sin. To that, I have a very simple answer: I am an American first and a Catholic second, since my birth certificate came before my baptismal certificate. My primary religion, therefore, is to follow the Constitution of the United States. If I didn’t, THAT would be the greater sin.

And for that, I cannot abide.

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