“I’ve made it very clear since 2009 that I believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. I’ve said that, I ran on that, I’ve said it consistently. That doesn’t mean, in any way shape or form, that I have anything against folks who are homosexual. In fact, I’ve said I believe people are born that way. I don’t believe it’s a choice “¦ you were born with your sexual preference. But I believe that the institution of marriage for 2,000 years has been between a man and a woman.” [Politico]

Chris Christie on DOMA.

Chris Christie on DOMA.

IT IS remarkable to hear someone say “let the people decide,” as Gov. Chris Christie did about the DOMA ruling by the Supreme Court, when the founders decided long ago that African Americans and women weren’t equal to white males in a new America. The realities of blacks and women were painstakingly changed through the courts and as we saw on the Voting Rights Act, as well as in Texas and other states on abortion, we’re still fighting to keep them.

As far as I am concerned, any reference to “the institution of marriage for 2,000 years has been between a man and a woman,” is theoretically based in religious dictum, which has no place in civil rights law. That is unless you want to apply the we are all equal, which trips up the most religious moralists into a word salads of stammering but…but… but.

We are a nation made from laws, not religion, which is a private issue that has become far too invasive in our politics and way of governing over many decades.

What makes it worse is while Chris Christie believes people are born homosexual, he doesn’t believe these individuals should have the same rights as heterosexuals to marry. That is the very definition of discrimination.

DOMA effectively made the people’s decisions in the state moot or at the very least, cheapened the right to marry to mean less. Now that DOMA has been overturned, states can empower people fully, one legislature at a time.

The rest should come through economic leverage, with the LGBT community taking their money to states who considering them equal Americans in every way.

The breadth of moral arrogance Gov. Christie is displaying on DOMA, while ignoring the importance of civil rights issues that move through the courts and up to the Supreme Court, is combined with an ideology that discounts law for religious views that have no place where civil rights are concerned, at least the way I see Christie’s “2000 years” reference.

The country supports marriage equality by a majority, but the point is legally, all people are created equal, which surely should apply to marriage as well. Religious opinions should be respected privately, but they should never be utilize to govern or adjudicate civil rights.

The conversation then turned into a debate on the importance of rights, with Gov. Christie challenging legislators. Christie saying the minimum wage was important to have on the ballot, but not marriage equality?

“That’s important enough to put on the ballot. But gay marriage is not,” Christie said summarizing the legislature’s position.

“That’s something the people should decide, but not whether same-sex marriage should happen in New Jersey.”

Get busy, New Jersey, it’s time to put marriage equality on the ballot.

video via Mediate