Friends, this morning I issued our organizational statement in anticipation of Governor Christie’s veto of the marriage equality bill. Please find that statement in the blog post immediately under this one. Late today, when Governor Christie actually issued his veto, he accompanied it with a statement calling for the creation of a civil union ombudsman.
In fact, the Governor’s offer to create a civil union ombudsman is the very essence of the political theatre he decries.
How in the world would a civil union ombudsman enforce the civil union law for New Jersey couples who work in New York, a state that recognizes marriage equality – would New York State actually deputize a New Jersey civil union ombudsman to work within its own borders? How in the world would a civil union ombudsman deal with the children being raised by same-sex couples – children stigmatized at school by questions about the perceived inferiority of their families because of the second-class civil union label? How in the world would a civil union ombudsman deal with the assault on the dignity faced by civil union couples by hospitals and employers who understand the civil union law perfectly well – but sneer at the relationship of couples who aren’t married?
A civil union ombudsman might well be the country’s first-ever Enforcer of Discrimination – and worse. A civil union ombudsman is nothing more than the shameless dressing up of a veto of people’s dignity and equality – the equivalent of gold-plating a separate water fountain for a specific class of people.