A little off topic.

I have a domestic partnership with my partner.  We never  got the civil union because all of the rules aren’t in our favor and it’s just plain not fair.

But then I woke up this morning and read this article:

(We might actually be able to get married!)
February 20, 2008

N.J. civil unions a failure, panel says

By MICHAEL RISPOLI
Gannett State Bureau

Same-sex civil unions have been a “failed experiment” in New Jersey and create “a second-class status” for civil union couples, a state review commission reported Tuesday.

One year after a law took effect allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, the Civil Union Review Commission unanimously endorsed a report, which found numerous employers fail to offer couples in civil unions the same benefits as married couples and that a lack of knowledge about such unions creates a second-class status and adverse effects on minorities, military personnel and transgender people.

“The testimony included no categories that it was working properly. None,” said the Rev. Charles Blustein Ortman, a commission member and minister of The Unitarian Church of Montclair.

The report consists mainly of excerpts from testimony given to the commission at three hearings last fall. The testimony revealed an “overwhelming” number of civil union couples did not receive similar benefits from employers due to federal barriers.

Gov. Jon S. Corzine said in a prepared statement said “basic principles of equal protection” should be given to everyone. He has said he would sign into law the right to allow same-sex couples to marry, but not until after this year’s November election.

“Although this is not a final report and further evaluation remains, the report does raise significant concerns about whether the law has effectively granted same-sex couples the same rights and benefits of every other family in the state,” Corzine said.

To date, 2,408 same-sex couples have entered into civil unions, the commission found.

The commission strongly stated the report’s findings were not its conclusions, but rather summaries of evidence given to it at the hearings.

“We can speak to what is in the report right now, and we are not yet able to explain what all the answers would be,” said commission chairman Frank Vespa-Papaleo, director of the state Division on Civil Rights.

While the commission did not recommend any action yet, the report points out problems in New Jersey are not evident in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal.

High emotions spilled over after the commission released its report to the media, with those opposing a move toward same-sex marriage accusing the commission of being stacked to ensure that in the end it recommend same-sex marriage.

John Tomicki, chairman of the New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage, and Gregory Quinlan, director of governmental affairs for New Jersey Family First and a self-proclaimed “ex-gay,” said they want a public vote on the matter.

“This commission that was set up meant to do one thing. . . . They want marriage,” Tomicki said.

Quinlan added, “We cannot change the structure of society to accommodate those who chose to live their lives as homosexuals.”

Commission vice chairman Steven Goldstein, who is chairman of the gay rights advocacy group Garden State Equality, shot back by saying “the world is still turning on its axis” even though same-sex couples can marry elsewhere.

“The fact is, people in this state care way more about whether there are heavy tolls on Route 440 than whether 440 couples marry in Montclair,” said Goldstein.

Reach Michael Rispoli at mrispol@gannett.com

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February 20, 2008. Tags: , , . Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. NG replied:

    for what it’s worth:
    http://www.gardenstateequality.org/civilunionsdontwork/news.html

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