Jon Corzine Will Sign Gay-Marriage Bill, But Won’t Give Republicans a Talking PointGovernor Jon Corzine of New Jersey is frustrating gay activists because he is hesitant to get moving on a bill to change the state’s civil-unions policy to one of flat-out marriage equality. After a report was released yesterday that says civil unions in the state are not equal to marriages, the state legislature is under pressure to change the law. Civil unions have been allowed since 2006 in New Jersey after the State Supreme Court ruled that gay couples should receive the same legal rights and protections as married straight couples. Legislators quickly created a law that was designed to give equality to all parties. In order to comply with the decree of the Supreme Court, adjustments have to be made to the current policy, but Corzine says he wants to wait until after November to do so. “He will sign a bill, but doesn’t want to make it a presidential-election-year issue,” Corzine spokeswoman Lilo Stainton said. This is a shrewd move, both for Democrats and gays alike. A Republican nominee will be sure to use the specter of gay marriage to scare their base to the voting booths in November, as George Bush did so effectively in 2004. The last thing that gays hoping to wed (and Democrats hoping to win) need are endless high-profile speeches about the sanctity of marriage. It’s the one issue that could bring evangelicals like James Dobson together with front-runner John McCain, whom they currently mistrust.
N.J. governor concerned civil unions don’t bring equal rights [Newsday]
early and often
Robertson Looks Past Gays, Abortion, Sees RudyRudy scored a huge coup today when, in a speech at the National Press Club, powerful evangelist Pat Robertson announced he would endorse the former New York mayor. Robertson’s announcement will give pause to the many who assumed that if Giuliani won the Republican nomination, there would be low Values Voter turnout in support of him. Earlier this year, Christian leaders like Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Tony Perkins, head of the conservative Family Research Council; and James Dobson, leader of Focus on the Family all said they would not support Giuliani’s run. But Robertson, who may hold the most sway of them all, will at least mitigate that influence. This is obviously great for Giuliani, but less so for Robertson. Giuliani is pro-gay and pro-abortion, two of the Values Voters’ biggest no-no’s. So why the plug? We can think of two reasons. One, it adds to the odds that the Christian right won’t have to deal with a Mormon in the White House if the Republicans win, and two, now if Giuliani wins, Robertson can claim he is beholden to the evangelicals. Had he won without any of their support, he would be free of their influence while in power (unlike, say, Bush). Which is kind of a shame. We were sort of looking forward to a general election between two infidels next year, instead of just one.
Pat Robertson Endorses Giuliani [WP]