New Jersey becomes 14th state to recognize same-sex marriage
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 22:10
As of midnight last Monday, marriages between homosexual couples are legal in the state of New Jersey. Judge Mary Jacobson decided that in light of United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court case which ruled it was unconstitutional to prevent same-sex couples from marrying, New Jersey would violate its state constitution if gay marriage was kept illegal.
New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie dropped his appeal of the decision Monday, allowing New Jersey to join 13 other states in legalizing same-sex marriage.
The ever-evolving perception of the LGBT community has taken a prominent role in the global community, attracting attention of international leaders such as Pope Francis. Francis has shown a greater willingness to respect the choices and lifestyle of the LGBT community.
“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,” Francis said. “I replied with another question. Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”
Freshman Morgan Dezendorf, a New Jersey resident, said she believes all 50 states will have legalized gay marriage in her lifetime as her generation is more progressive.
“It just makes sense,” Dezendorf said.
She said she thinks the legislation in New Jersey will have a significant influence on the political tides of the United States. She also said though the university is a very diverse campus that accepts people of all types, in light of New Jersey’s recent legalization of gay marriage, she has realized the university could be doing more.
Haven officials remarked on the long process of creating awareness and recognition of the validity of diverse sexual orientations and the success of that process shown in the progressional legalization of gay marriage in the states.
Junior Jeremy Mathis, president of Haven, said one of the keys to gay marriage advancement is the fact many people have friends or family who are openly part of the LGBT community.
Mathis said the generation of people born around 1990 is the first to have a truly personal connection with the LGBT community as a whole. That connection, he said, will lead to further acceptance. He said it helps that sometimes the problem of intolerance toward homosexuals hits close to home.
Junior Elan Loewen, a member of the Executive Board of Haven, said she thinks the more states that legalize gay marriage, the more it will be accepted not only under the law but culturally as well.
“[Sexuality] is a lot more visible,” Loewen said. “We are making very great strides, speeding up with each state.”
This current generation has finally positioned itself to lead the rest of the world in regards to LGBT rights, Mathis said.
“Our generation took that step between tolerance and acceptance,” Mathis said. “It is a good place to be in this transition.”