Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Jersey Gay Marriage Ruling: Huge Gift to Republicans

It could not have come at a better time for Republicans.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that the state must either approve gay marriage, or provide for civil unions for homosexuals, such unions having all the same privileges as marriage.

This makes the Wisconsin Marriage Amendment, already ahead in the polls, a virtual slam-dunk to pass.

It shows the utter dishonesty of Amendment opponents who claim that the Amendment is not needed since “gay marriage is already illegal in Wisconsin.”

Sure, it’s illegal until and unless Wisconsin’s liberal Supreme Court gets around to legalizing it.

The ruling should affect House and Senate races around the nation.

Of course, most Democratic candidates will say they oppose gay marriage. Those in moderate or conservative districts will say they oppose civil unions too.

But they will necessarily be put on the defensive, having to distance themselves from a policy that clearly is being pushed by an important part of the Democratic coalition (the gay lobby) and imposed in some states by liberal activist judges.

And a policy that most voters know that Democrats activists and office holders, in their heart of hearts, favor.

Democrats will be off-message, and in damage control mode.

Social conservatives will be energized.

Those Republicans who have been whining about how the Bush White House and a Republican controlled Congress have accomplished little will be reminded how much damage liberal Democrats can do.

If Bush, for example, gets to appoint another justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s essential that he not have to appease a Senate Judiciary Committee controlled by Democrats.

Even governors races may be affected. Wisconsin has a liberal Supreme Court largely because Jim Doyle, as Governor, got to appoint a liberal justice to replace conservative Diane Sykes (who left to take a place on the Federal bench).

If the next governor of Wisconsin gets to make such an appointment, will it be Doyle or Green making it?

If the Democrats pick up (say) 12 seats in the House of Representatives (short of the 15 they need for control), the New Jersey Supreme Court can thank itself for having saved the House from the Democrats. We doubt the liberal judges who made this ruling intended that.

Likewise, the Democrats gaining control of the Senate has always been a long shot. Now it’s close to impossible.


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