With the NJ Supreme Court decision that gay couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples just one day old, it's still unclear whether or not New York will accept a NJ same-sex civil union or marriage, though it has with other states. Mayor Bloomberg said, "New York City has a policy of accepting bona-fide marriages from other jurisdictions. I've always believed it's not the government's business whom you marry." And City Council Speaker Quinn who is openly gay said, "New York State's Legislature must also act to address this injustice in New York so that all citizens are treated equally on both sides of the Hudson River."

Now the next phase is whether or not the Legislature will call same-sex partnerships "marriage." Gay rights advocates are working on their lobbying tactics. The Star-Ledger had a good explanation of what the court ruling means and what the next steps are.

2006_10_poritz.jpgWe were very struck by the NY Times article about the justices of the NJ Supreme Court. The three dissenting voices that wanted to push for gay marriage were all appointed by Republicans, while three of the four justices on the majority were appointed by Democrats. Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz (pictured), who was Christine Todd Whitman's Attorney General, emphasized in the dissenting opinion that it was important for gays to to have the word marriage in their vernacular as well: “We must not underestimate the power of language...Labels set people apart as surely as physical separation on a bus or in school facilities." She also wrote a "1999 decision, later reversed by the United States Supreme Court, requiring the Boy Scouts of America to retain a gay assistant scoutmaster. And she wrote for the majority in a 2000 opinion striking down a parental notice requirement for minors seeking abortions."

Photograph of Chief Justice Poritz on Monday by Mel Evans/AP