This is the first of three anniversaries that Rachel and I celebrate; it’s the day we met, so it’s the most important one. We were introduced by a lesbian couple living just down the street from Rachel in New Jersey. Now we’re in Manhattan, Karen and Sandy are in Florida, and the New Jersey Supreme Court has said that if the state is to marry anyone, it must marry everyone.
That seems obviously right. The state can get out of the marriage game entirely in favor of some legal relationship that has the rights and responsibilities that marriage has had for 200 years. Call that what you will, and let religions call their unions “marriages.” If they want to exclude some people from that, it’s up to them.
Will the legislature go the marriage route? Probably not, according to the Newark Star-Ledger, the closest thing New Jersey has to a paper of record. That seems fine to me. Rachel and I were married by the mayor of Stockton, without benefit of priest, minister, rabbi, prayer, or the name of God in any form. We’d have been as united as Karen and Sandy would be allowed to be, and that’s all that matters.
Which institution would get the words “wife” and “husband,” civil unions or marriages? I suspect it would be ambiguously both. That will be fun. The rabidly religious will want to ask, but won’t dare to, “But is she really… your wife?”