Mark Segal

Christie Sees Future, Santorum Does George Wallace in Drag

Filed By Mark Segal | January 28, 2012 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Chris Christie, George Wallace, homophobic people, Republican, Republicans, Rick, Santorum

US_Attorney_Chris_Christie.jpegThis columnist has been preaching for over a year now, but particularly during this primary season, that America is changing - in favor of LGBT rights and equality. That change was never so true as in Monday's announcement from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Here's how the Associated Press reported it:

"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie moved to diversify the state's all-white Supreme Court on Monday by proposing two firsts: The nominations of an openly gay black man [Bruce Harris] and a Korean-born law enforcer to fill two vacancies.

"'I am proud to be standing here today to announce two historic nominations to the New Jersey State Supreme Court,' Christie said, expressing 'extreme confidence in their records and respect for their intellect.'"

At the governor's news conference, Harris thanked the governor, then said: "I also want to thank my partner Mark for his nearly 32 years of love and support."

Christie is not considered a moderate. He's a national rising star of right-wing Republicans, but he's smart and ahead of his fellow party members in understanding that LGBT issues no longer matter to the general population - including Republicans. In other words, you can't scare the public with the gay issue anymore since they no longer are afraid to have us as neighbors. In fact, most Americans want us as their neighbors and pollsters have discovered that 47 percent of strong conservative Republicans would vote for an LGBT person running for office.

With a generation that has grown up with openly gay friends about to enter the voting system, the handwriting is on the wall.

Now, Christie is not for full equality. He's doing exactly what this column predicted just a few weeks ago: Drawing a line in the sand on equality. Domestic partners and civil unions are all OK - but marriage is for one man and one woman only.

All one has to do is watch the Republican primaries and see this working itself into the Republican fabric. As I stated before, enjoy this Republican race and watch Rick Santorum. In this race, Santorum is like George Wallace, the last proud racist to run for president. For Santorum, he'll be the last proud homophobe to run for president. And like Wallace, he'll become an outcast in his own party. Wallace eventually apologized, but Santorum is too arrogant to apologize for the hate he has spun.

Back to the Garden State. Here's the fun part: If Christie vetoes New Jersey's marriage-equality bill, it's likely that a pending marriage-equality case will make it's way to the New Jersey Supreme Court, where Christie's appointee will cast a vote on equality. We are living in exciting and historic times.

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