On marriage equality and veto threats

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Stephen Skoufalos | Contributor

Governor Christie sure is making himself a prominent figure in state issues as of late, and in all of these issues, he is making himself look progressively worse and worse. With the already mounting public pressure pushing back against his plans for the takeover of Rutgers, he is now adding extra weight on his back by vowing to veto marriage equality in the state of New Jersey, in spite of it passing in the State Senate, and in spite of it becoming legal in seven states across the country (Washington state being the most recent). Why, one might ask, would the State Senate pass it if Christie will simply veto it anyway? Why keep fighting for this if they know it will go down in flames?

There are many answers to this, and some are simpler than others. One of the simplest is that if so many people are backing this up, and continue to do so, and the governor still insists on vetoing it regardless of his people’s wishes, it will only show whose side the man is truly on. It will only dig his political grave deeper, and it will serve to make his exit a bloodier one on the way out the door come 2014. It will show that all the claims about him serving only himself, his political friends, and other moneyed interests are true, and that he has not stood up for the rights or lives of his people.

Furthermore, while Christie and so many Republicans may still go on about how the policy of same-sex marriage hasn’t passed in 31 states, and attempt to use that to settle the issue for good, the truth is that the issue simply hasn’t been, nor will ever be, settled by jamming vetoes or refusals down the states’ throats. So long as there are still people who support this (and the numbers are growing with each passing month), and politicians still willing to argue about it even when it has supposedly been “decided,” the struggle for the rights of same-sex couples to marry will continue.

Just because the individuals opposing it have money and power does not mean that everyone agrees with them, nor does it mean that they will be right in the end; they only speak on behalf of a continually shrinking number of older, closed-minded individuals who consistently and insistently paint themselves into a corner on these and other issues. If it didn’t pass in those 31 states and everyone is supposedly in agreement with same-sex marriage’s opponents, then why are there still people fighting for it when the governors of those states will not pass it? The answer: those officials will be either voted out of office or will have to leave due to term limits. This will make room for a politician sympathetic or enlightened enough, who will take the reins and become the next to bring same-sex marriage into law in those states as well.

This also applies to Governor Christie – he and his political buddies can shoot this down if they wish; they are only delaying the inevitable and making themselves further despicable in the public eye. They are only setting themselves up for a bigger fall in the future. And while they may not leave office right away, they will effectively seal New Jersey’s support for President Obama’s re-election. Finally, once they are gone, at some point in the future, sooner or later, it will pass under a future governor, because, as stated earlier, money and influence cannot stop, nor have not stopped, people hell-bent on civil equality in this country.

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