Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for May, 2012

NJ Dems nix gay black Supreme Court nominee

Timothy Kincaid

May 31st, 2012

According to the Washington Post, Bruce Harris was rejected by the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee:

Democrats who control the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Harris’ lack of courtroom experience and vow to recuse himself from deciding gay marriage cases.

Harris says his prior support of gay marriage creates a perception that he would be biased on the issue.

The 61-year-old would have been the state’s third black justice and the court’s first openly gay jurist.

This is disappointing.

But while sad, it’s also an odd illustration of how politics works. In a display of partisanship, it was the Democrats who voted against – and the Republicans who voted for – the gay, black, marriage equality activist. In a weird way I guess that can be viewed as progress.

Congratulations, Bruce Harris

Timothy Kincaid

January 23rd, 2012

In November we reported that Chatham Borough, New Jersey has just elected Bruce Harris, making him the nation’s first African American gay Republican mayor. But the Star Ledger is reporting that Harris will soon be mayor no more. Governor Chris Christie is forcing him out of office… by appointing him to the state Supreme Court. Which will make him, I believe, the nation’s first African American gay Republican Supreme Court Justice.

This is kind of a big deal. I seem to recall a little issue that will soon be brought to that august body… something about civil unions not really providing the same level of equality as marriage. I don’t know Harris’ beliefs about marriage (and it would be inappropriate for us to know) but we can be certain that he does not go to the bench with a position of hostility towards our community.

And I appreciate the unique perspective and voice that Harris, as a racially minority gay man, may be able bring to the judicial process. Our opponents delight in pitting our communities against each other, and such tactics are likely to be less effective when there is someone on the bench who is part of both communities.