One more step towards equality. From today’s opinion in Lewis v. Harris (note: PDF file):
HELD: Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed samesex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under tecivil marriage statutes. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to samesex
couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.
Great news at the end of a long day. The downside is that Republicans may be able to use it to rally the evangelical base in some races. But after 6 years of a president supposedly in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, most of it with solid Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, will this carry as much scare power as such decisions have in the past?
We’re having Coming Out Week here at DePauw. I’ve been wearing a sticker with a rainbow cow and with white letters “C O W” superimposed–United DePauw handed them out. The best, the most effective, perhaps the only truly effective way to make changes for LGBTQ people is for us to come out, be known, and insist on full rights.
And now I’ll go read the decision.