NJ Assembly Republican Leader weighs in

Timothy Kincaid

October 21st, 2013

Dropped in at the end of an article (PolitickerNJ)

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) praised Christie’s decision. “This is why he’s so respected,” Bramnick said. “He’s a practical realist.”

Bramnick, it should be remembered, is not an equality supporter, taking the Governor’s “let the people vote” position.

It’s an interesting peek into how Republicans in deep blue states want to get the issue behind them. They know marriage equality is coming and that any protracted battle is not going to benefit them. They just need a way to graciously concede without changing their public stance.

A vote of the populace is ideal. It allows them to hold their “personal view” while upholding “the will of the people”. And it shields them entirely from the debate. Which is, to some extent, why Democratic politicians in New Jersey fought that option.

Absent that, a swift court decision gives them an out. The judges can have “overstepped” and “dictated”, but it gives Christie and the Republicans a way to be “practical realists” and accept the eventuality.

And today’s dropping of the appeal in New Jersey allows that state’s Republicans to put this issue completely behind them. There is zero chance that they will make any effort to “take it to the people” and within the next week or so, some GOP legislator is going to conduct a wedding of a close friend or staff member and then this issue will cease to be trouble for the party at all.


October 21st, 2013

I don’t know that it will go away quite so easy for Republicans who were very vocal against equality. We still have the official records and the internet to remind the voters of who stood in the way of justice.

Sir Andrew

October 21st, 2013

Yes, Zeke, but someone actually has to do the heavy lifting required to constantly remind voters of this. That’s where our side often falls down. It’s easy, and even fun, to march to protest something. But then there are the boring hours spent on phones calling and calling again every voter to try to get info into their heads. That means dealing with hateful people to the point of destroying one’s self esteem. I’ve seen many volunteers go home from these phone banks in tears. I hope that New Jersey can carry this fight into the next election after people have lost their zeal for the equality issue after having already won it.

Patrick Dark

October 21st, 2013

I’m anti-Christie and I think this outcome leaves him in a pretty good position as far as the right goes. He can blame the result on activist judges, say he wanted to give the people the right to vote, and has taken several actions to back up his anti-gay credentials for conservatives: he vetoed marriage equality, tried to appoint an anti-gay gay mayor to the state’s highest court, and said he would tell a hypothetical gay son to get married to a woman.

If he makes it through to the general election, I can’t see his stance hurting him much with the center. The most problematic provision of DOMA has been struck down and criticism he might get about the other section he can deflect on states’ rights grounds. LGBT rights organizations don’t seem ready to pursue a federal legislative strategy via Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to get marriage equality, so Section 2 of DOMA is the only thing to call him out on with regard to same-sex marriage; that doesn’t seem like something that will resonate much with the general electorate.

I guess there’s always the issue of ENDA. If he comes out against that and it hasn’t passed yet, the left can beat him over the head with it. However, I won’t be surprised if he comes out in favor of that to appear more moderate should he get the nomination.

Ben In Oakland

October 21st, 2013

This is why I think there ought to be an override of the governor’s veto. Republicans will still have to stand and be counted.

Timothy Kincaid

October 21st, 2013

Ben, I agree.

And a vote in the Illinois House for the same reason (though other party). No more protecting members of ANY party by refusing to call votes.

If you don’t stand for equality, you should be on record. And if that means you choose between what is right and being reelected, some things are too important.

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