Today's New Jersey Supreme Court decision recognizing gay marriage rights is likely to be both a win and a lose for gay Americans.
A win because the court made what I think is the only reasonable decision on matters dealing with legal contracts between adults—which is precisely what a marriage is as far as the state is concerned—and that is that all Americans have EQUAL protection under the law. That is as libertarian and liberty loving as you can get.
It might be a loss for the same reason the Massachusetts decision turned out to be bitter sweet in that the GOP will certainly use this decision to once again rally the base to their candidates, and that means more ugly gay bashing and a stronger push for a constitutional amendment to once and for all ban gay marriage in these United States.
The biggest wedge issue of the last twenty years was a big winner for the GOP in the 2004 election where ballot measures increased conservative turnout and resulted in legislation banning gay marriage (in one fashion or another) in eleven states. This may be the break Rove has been waiting for and the ONLY chance he has for re-energizing a moralist bloc of voters who feel burned by the Mark Foley scandal, ignored by the lack of funds for faith based initiatives, and insulted by revelations of a Presidential potty mouth and the recent accusations from David Kuo that the White House sees them as rubes and sheep to be led by their noses.
What's not clear is how the ruling will affect the surprisingly tight Senatorial race in New Jersey. The latest Rasmussen Reports poll shows the sixth lead change of that race as incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D) leads State Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R) 42% to 39%, but the New York Times reports that Mr. Menendez and his Republican challenger, have both supported some benefits for domestic partners, but have said they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.
We're just two weeks from Election Day and the shit is going to start hitting the fan at great velocity. Don thy hazmat suit and hold on for life!