Camel in the Tent


“What do we want?” “Equality!” “When do we want it?” Now!”

“All we want is to be equal!” “Stop Treating us like second-class citizens!”

Oh…No Wait…Equal Isn’t Enough. Let’s Call it Marriage!

Camel nose-in-the-tent strategy rears it’s head in New Jersey

A New Jersey commission on the legal equality of civil unions in that state has weighed in on the marriage debate. After talking to everyone under the sun and not being able to find a single case where the legal benefits of civil unions differed from the legal benefits of marriage, the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission has determined that their state should accept gay marriage because civil unions are “too hard to understand”. This is a new tact for same sex advocate groups who have previously stated that all they wanted was to be able to have the same rights as married couples. Now that civil unions are equal under NJ law, the commission says it’s still not good enough. They need to take it to the next level.

The New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission (NJ-CURC) was established by the New Jersey Legislature after the passage of the Civil Union Act in February of 2007. The Civil Union Act gave civil unions statewide, all of the legal benefits that were afforded married couples. The duty of the commission was to study all aspects of the Civil Union Act, which authorized civil unions. The Commission’s duties included evaluating the implementation, operation and effectiveness of the act.

There are two obvious problems with the credibility of this study. First, the commission was universally comprised of same sex marriage advocates who elevated anecdotal evidence over actual testimony, and second, they totally missed the boat on the purpose of their commission. They basically heard a bunch of private citizens and gay activist groups saying “it’s not the same… we want the word marriage”, and responded to that rather than just doing their job which was to make sure that there was no legal discrimination against civil unions.

They were supposed to come back with results like, “this law makes same sex unions and marriage equal under the law” or “same sex unions are unequal in the following areas.” What they did say was same sex unions are too complex for hospitals and others to understand so we should make Civil Unions into Marriages. This conclusion was based on, as far as I can tell, absolutely no firsthand testimony.

State Healthcare Facility Director, John Calabria who is responsible for responding to complaints from citizens of New Jersey about medical institutions testified directly to them that “We have received no complaints” regarding the compliance of medical facilities to the Civil Union Act. Although the agency receives 8000-9000 complaints per year, none of them was about being discriminated against in a medical institution.

New Jersey Director of the Division of Taxation, Maureen Adams was given the leading question, “If the state moved to marriage, how that might affect [the taxation of citizens with civil unions] that you’ve just testified to?” She responded, “There would be no fiscal impact, any filing impact, has all been realized with the Civil Union Law.” AKA you can’t give these people anything to make them more equal.

On the other hand, impassioned testimony from Peggy Sheahan-Knee who is the President of the New Jersey State Bar Association agrees with the commission. She claimed multiple people were discriminated against and denied access to their loved ones in medical institutions. The trouble is that she didn’t provide any specific examples in her testimony. Not only that but her integrity is somewhat in question since she also stated emphatically that, “The Civil Union Law fails to provide equal rights to same-sex couples” but was was unable to provide a single example of this. She provided several examples where the law was misunderstood by the public but none where the law failed to provide equal rights.

So what is the whole conclusion to this befuddled mess? “Since civil unions and marriages are the same, let’s give them the same name to reduce confusion”

Here’s a newsflash for the Commission….reducing confusion was not on the menu, legal rights were. All this time we’ve been hearing ad nauseum about the gay community needing rights, wanting rights, demanding rights. Now they have them and they’re still not happy. Now we have to have the name, marriage, which is what the whole ordeal has been about from the beginning.

It’s not about rights.

The Associated Press release can be found here.



  1. debbie said,

    December 11, 2008 at 1:58 am

    Thank you. We can all see what alot us have suspected all along. This has never had anything to do with rights and everything to do with the word marriage. I believe the thinking is that if “we” are able to use the word marriage, it will somehow legitimize the decision that “we” have made to be homosexual.
    Looks like the cat is out of the bag.

  2. Troyrock said,

    December 11, 2008 at 2:58 am

    I looked over the transcripts of the testimony given to the commission. When John Calabria testified that he had not received a single complaint from any medical institute in New Jersey, the commission members became positively hostile and grilled him with leading questions such as “Is it possible that the hospitals didn’t provide information about how to complain?” To Mr. Calabria’s credit, he kept his cool and gave very good responses: Medical institutions are required to post that information and it’s checked by surprise inspections. Mr. Calabria’s group receives 8000-9000 complaints a year which means that someone is finding them ok – to the tune of 30-35 complaints a day. Similar questions preceded and followed from various commission members.

    The commission’s page is here:

  3. YippeeyeO said,

    December 11, 2008 at 3:07 am

    I hope this faux study performed by a commission utilizing grade-school methods is decried in true, professional research circles. If I were a researcher by profession, I would be appalled at the faulty conclusions arrived at through faulty process. Instead, I am just a regular, old, appalled citizen hoping that somewhere, sometime soon, someone with enough sway is going to stand up to this absolutely farcical nightmare. Where did the voices of reason go? Oh, right, they’ve been intimidated into silence. Well, Beetle, not you, no, definitely not you. Please keep up the good reporting.

  4. Shoes said,

    December 11, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Before the Prop 8 vote, some people actually went door to door, saying that they knew loving gay couples who were discriminated against in the hospital. Many people were unaware that this doesn’t happen–it is illegal in CA, unless the couple simply hadn’t applied for a registered domestic partnership with the state. If not registered, they would have been treated like any other couple who was living together–which is not discrimination.

    Young women were also going door to door saying that their children would be unable to inherit because they weren’t legally married to their partners…All state protections are identical in CA, but very few straight people were actually aware of that. They felt compassion for these people, who unfortunately were at best, misinformed, or at worst–lying.

    I found that most people’s knee-jerk reaction is to feel compassion (which is basically a good trait), but they are unaware of consequences. I feel that if people knew what long-term consequences have arisen in countries allowing SSM, they would be more fiercely protective of society for the sake of their children and their grandchildren. Thanks for all your hard work!

  5. beetlebabee said,

    December 11, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    This is a huge blow for the gay rights activists….not that truth has ever set them back any, but the further this type of information gets out there, the more people will see that the things being cried about are not the true desires of the activist gay community.

  6. Emissary said,

    December 11, 2008 at 7:40 pm


    At the end of a sign event for Prop. 8, I was actually stopped by a woman who called over a male gay couple to support her. One of them brought up the idea that hospital rights weren’t the same. When I disagreed and pressed him, he admitted that they were the same, but “you might be required to have documentation with you to prove that you were a domestic partnership.” In other words, he lied to my face, and when I called him on it, he tried to weasel his way out of it.

    It was an enlightening experience.

  7. sean said,

    December 12, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    That “civil union” doesn’t mean jack in Idaho or Japan. A New Jersey marriage is properly recognized in both. They are very very different things. Yes Debbie, they believe that if “they” use the word marriage it will help to legitimize their decision to join in a union with the person that they love and publicly declare their commitment for.” And provide an equality of benefits across state and national lines. It’s so terrible isn’t it?

  8. { Lisa } said,

    December 13, 2008 at 11:22 am

    one thing I have noticed is that kids will even recognize that gay is not okay. They will ask “why is that guy kissing anothe guy” or “why is that woman kissing another woman”, I have never heard a kid ask “why is that woman kissing that man” It’s because they even in their innocense, can see that it is wrong.

  9. beetlebabee said,

    December 13, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Sean, state’s rights is a separate issue from same sex civil unions. The point is, that in this state, the state has given all that they can give, and they still want more. It shows that the word is the coveted object here, not the rights.

    If you have a problem with Idaho or Iowa, take it up with them, not New Jersey. Calling same sex civil unions “marriage” is just an end run around other state’s rights. If same sex marriage is so great, you should be able to argue it’s benefits so the people can choose.

    This is a democracy of free people after all. Not a judicial tyranny.

  10. sean said,

    December 13, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Lisa, kids also ask why the sky is blue. By your logic it is because in their innocense, they can see that something is wrong with the sky? Your arguments…are painful….
    Have you considered, that they ask, because people like you are trying their hardest to suppress gay expressions of love, so it is a novelty to the kids?

    Beetlebabee, yes the issue of rights are bigger than the state…. And I believe by demanding total equality, and the right to marry, the LGBT is taking your advice, and taking it up with Idaho, and Iowa, through New Jersey and California, and a host of other states in the coming years. Fortunately states rights don’t override the Nation’s constitution. So when Prop 8 is overturned by the Supreme Court, like Loving v. Virginia overturned the Miscegenation laws that were unconstitutional, I am sure that the LGBT would like your support, along with all rational people that believe in fundamental rights of humanity, but they certainly wont need it.

    –8<————-snip! Moderator edit.

  11. beetlebabee said,

    December 13, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Sean, you’re missing the point.

    The issue over legitimizing gay marriage is not one of equal “rights” as the New Jersey Commission proves.

    It is, instead, a question of equal “dignity”. Proponents of gay marriage do not want homosexuals to feel like “second-class citizens” as a result of not being allowed to use the familiar and highly favored designation of “marriage”. (Again, being treated like second class citizens is not the issue – there are plenty of legal protections to keep that from happening. It is the feelings of gay couples that are the concern.) Proponents of gay marriage believe that civil decency requires us to be compassionate, loving and tolerant of homosexual relationships, which they say requires us to extend to them full acceptance, equal dignity, and identical status.

    Virtually everyone would be willing to grant “equal status” – if it did no harm. The problem is, there are devastating consequences for doing so, which proponents of gay marriage refuse to consider. For them, “feelings trump consequences.” Granting equal status to gay marriage will irreparably damage marriage, families, parenting, children, morality, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, majority rule, separation of powers, states’ rights, and America . We cannot allow this effort to “not hurt people’s feelings” lay waste to so many institutions, principles and rights.

  12. { Lisa } said,

    December 14, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Sean I am sorry you feel pained by my opinions. Though I may not be as articulate as others I still have passion for what I believe and feel.

    And FYI I wasnt talking about 2-3 years olds that ask why about everything. I was speaking of kids old enough to realise that what they are seeing is not right. My son was 7 the first time he saw something like that, it was on TV before I could change the channel he saw two guys kiss, and he had a look of disgust on his face before he turned to me to ask what they were doing. And no it wasnt because I had taught him that either because I had never talked about that stuff with him as I felt it to mature for him to hear. When I explained it to him he just said “thats not right mama”.

    I think it would not matter if God himself came down to your house and woke you out of your sleep to tell you that it was wrong, you would still want to do things your way.

    The proof is in the puddin. See what kind of fruit it bears… thats the proof:)

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