Michael Crawford

New Jersey Proves Civil Unions Don't Work

Filed By Michael Crawford | February 20, 2008 2:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay families, gay marriage, gay rights, New Jersey

New Jersey has been of the state's at the forefront of the fight for marriage rights for same-sex couples. Much credit for that goes to Garden State Equality, a statewide organization fighting for GLBT civil rights.

Jay Lassiter of Blue Jersey offers this update on New Jersey's civil unions law and the recent report detailing the inadequacies of the law in providing legal protections for same-sex families.


iPhone users: Click to watch

One year ago this week, New Jersey's Civil Union law went into affect. For many it seemed like a pragmatic step although time has revealed many flaws in the second class legal arrangement that gay couples in NJ settle for.

Part of the law allowing for Civil Unions mandated the formation of a Civil Union Review Panel to examine how Civil Unions are working out in real time. Based on their report, Civil Unions are a colossal public policy failure.

The Panel's review was 21 pages long but you don't have to read the whole thing to know that when someone can't get into the ER to see their sick partner, that's a breach of human dignity. When someone has to fight until their last breath to ensure their parter will receive thier pension benefits, that's a breach of human dignity. When someone is denied heath insurance because their partner is gay, that's a breach of basic human dignity.

The legislature promised us that Civil Unions would fix all that AND IT DIDN'T.


Recent Entries Filed under Politics:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | February 20, 2008 4:07 PM

Michael: I have been able to link to a listing of the 10 summary conclusions of the report, I have not been able to find a link to the entire text of the report itself. Are you aware of any at this point?

Civil unions don't work in NJ or in general? I haven't heard much about troubles in CT, VT, or NH. What about the UK? Not trying to be an apologist, but I'm interested in if the situation in NJ is a common occurrence or an anomaly.

FatherFaggot | February 20, 2008 5:53 PM

Robert: It's the way the NJ Civil Union law was written that makes it unworkable and unsatisfactory. If the law had been properly put together with full civil rights for all it would be equal to marriage under the law.

That guy~ There aren't any apologists on our page, and if there are we love them all the same!

But since a lot of these problems come from private industry, I'd imagine that they'd be in all the other states. New Jersey has an awesome state-level LGBT activist class, and I wouldn't be surprised if that has a lot to do with the message coming out clearer from them.

And the UK civil unions weren't meant to be the same as marriage. They were meant to be secondary.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | February 21, 2008 2:04 AM

Having been in hospital and having had my life partner in hospital I would have a power of attorney drawn up in any case and the name of my attorney on speed dial. You cannot imagine how quickly a nun will become your "buddy" if they smell a lawsuit.

I saw where they were holding back because of the presidential election. The Guv has said he'd support marriage equality, but doesn't want to kill Dem chances in November. God, I hope so. We have a chance here to go blue for the first time in decades.

Hey That Guy~ I have a friend that lives in the UK and is happily married to his husband. The whole thing behind the legislation using the term civil union (in the UK) is what's lacking in the NJ's term of civil union which is equality. From what I understand in the UK civil unions are exactly identical to marriage (I prefer to call it married) however it is commonly known amongst it's UK citizens that they are one in the same. There are a plethora of issues when it comes to the term civil union in NJ which is why it is severely lacking in it's intent for equality which the supreme court's ruling last year. If it mirrored marriage and all of the contents therein, they may be more content. However my belief is separate is not equal and Justice delayed is justice denied!

Hey That Guy~ I have a friend that lives in the UK and is happily married to his husband. The whole thing behind the legislation using the term civil union (in the UK) is what's lacking in the NJ's term of civil union which is equality. From what I understand in the UK civil unions are exactly identical to marriage (I prefer to call it married) however it is commonly known amongst it's UK citizens that they are one in the same. There are a plethora of issues when it comes to the term civil union in NJ which is why it is severely lacking in it's intent for equality which the supreme court's ruling last year. If it mirrored marriage and all of the contents therein, they may be more content. However my belief is separate is not equal and Justice delayed is justice denied!