Friday, December 15, 2006

NJ OKs Civil Unions

I've spent the last seven years living in the land of Tony Soprano and acid wash jeans. Each morning I wake up to the smell of toxic waste, the welcoming sight of industrial complexes, and the sound of Bon Jovi playing on someone's (maybe everyone's) radio.

But today, despite all of New Jersey's benefits I list above, I've never been more proud to live in my state:

"New Jersey legislators have approved civil unions for gay couples and Governor Corzine is expected to sign the bill. It passed in the state Senate and the Assembly yesterday, by a significant margin. The civil unions give gay couples all the benefits of married couples. They include adoption rights, hospital visitation and inheritance rights. The Garden State will be just one of five states offering gay couples the same protections and benefits as marriage."

In October, the NJ State Supreme Court ruled in Lewis v. Harris that same sex couples should be afforded the same rights as straight couples. The court gave the Senate 180 days to pass legislation to this effect. It took them less than two months.

While this isn't exactly marriage, this is one step in the right direction. Hopefully one day, the rest of the nation will be as enlightened as New Jersey.