Well it took another commission in yet another state to make clear that civil unions are not marriages and thus do not give all the rights, benefits, and privileges of marriage. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer which obtained an early copy of the findings of the NJ Civil Union Review Commission, civil unions in the Garden State have been a failure.
Steven Goldstein who chairs Garden State Equality and who also co-chairs the Civil Union Review Commission had harsh words for the civil unions law saying that it “segegates, discriminates and humiliates the very people it is supposed to protect.”
Members of the New Jersey LGBT community have voted with their feet. As of mid-January only 2, 329 couples have walked into their municipal offices and applied for a civil union license. Despite the posturing of what’s left of the Democratic presidential candidates that civil unions are “as good as” marriages, folks in NJ just do not believe it.
Commission hearings took testimony from 96 people, among them Lynn Fontaine Newsome, president of the NJ State Bar Association, who called NJ civil unions “a failed experiment.”
The findings cite Massachusetts as the only state that has provided LGBT relationship equality. Everyone knows what marriage is. Folks in VT, CT, NJ, and now NH are still trying to figure out what civil unions are. While that is happening, LGBT people are being discriminated against–even though they are in civil unions that are meant to protect them. Or perhaps the civil unions are just meant to give LGBT people a crumb and placate marriage equality opponents.
Massachusetts, with 10,000 same-sex couples married, offers a legitimate object lesson to those who want to study relationship equality in a fair and open-minded way