More than 2o years ago, rapper Big Daddy Kane released a song called “Ain’t no half-steppin.”
let’s put aside for a second the eloquence of his prose and focus instead on the message. In essence it suggests that if you are going to do something, you might as well go all the way. Because when you do something half-heartedly, you wind up pleasing no one.
When New Jersey enacted Civil Unions almost three years ago, some believed it made gay couples equal under the law. But just as “separate but equal” did not work in the last century when it came to black and white, one can argue it hasn’t worked here either. In fact, since the adoption of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy by the US armed forces ( another attempt at compromise ) even more men and women in uniform have been booted due to their sexual orientation.
So, there is a school of thought out there that New Jersey should simply legalize gay marriage and be done with it.
On the flip side, civil rights is an evolution. The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 came about after years of protest in the streets that was often put down violently. The point here is that incrementally over time change was implemented. So there are people ( perhaps a majority…it’s hard to tell because the polls have shifted ) who may need some time to get used to the idea of gay marriage. Meaning, they would like to try civil unions for a few more years before pushing ahead with full equality.
History is likely on the side of gay marriage. Opponents must know that apathy is the enemy of opposition. Much of the younger generation simply does not care. And not caring is tantamount to supporting it.
So, we now know that the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the bill Monday ( first reported here, btw ), and if it clears that committee then the full Senate could vote as early as Thursday. I suppose now is as good a time as any to ask lawmakers to vote their conscience, whatever that may be.