“Same-sex marriage in New Jersey is inevitable!”  So proclaimed the editors of the Trenton Times today, using words that Ernst Rohm once did about a different but perhaps equally intolerant “inevitability”.


We are all slaves to fashion, so the editors tell us, and fashion bursts forth fully formed like Athena.  It is a “given” that cannot be questioned, let alone discussed, debated and – heavens forbid – voted on!

The newspaper group that owns the Trenton Times is owned by the richest man in New Jersey, of one of the richest of rich families in America – or the world, for that matter.  When you look to find why same-sex marriage became the state’s “number one issue” (so proclaimed at the start of last year’s legislative session by none other than Senate President Steve Sweeney himself) don’t look for numbers of people but rather for numbers of dollars.

New Jersey has civil unions.  Depending who you speak to, civil unions provide the same or, even critics concede, nearly the same legal protections as does marriage.  How many same-sex couples have taken advantage of what have been called “life and death” protections?  Just a little over 3,000.

To place this in context, remember that there are 1.6 million married couples in New Jersey or 3.2 million people out of a population of 8.6 million.  Even among gays and lesbians, the idea of codifying their relationships has not caught on.  3,000 is a very low figure when you remember that there are (depending on who does the counting) between 250,000 and 800,000 gay or lesbian residents of New Jersey.

So who wants this?  Billionaires like Paul Singer of New York, who decided to support his son in this matter (there is a certain nobility here) and multi-millionaires like Tim Gill of Colorado, who decided to remake society in his own image (and narcissism here).  They have to a large degree succeeded, by simply making what was once called “homosexuality” fashionable.

To do so they hired the best advertising, the biggest lobbyists, and used their wealth to flip the most unprincipled politicians they could find.  Remember Senate President Steve Sweeney who refused to vote for same-sex marriage in 2010.  Last year he stood before a crowd of his legislative colleagues and proclaimed it his party’s “number one issue”.

The Democrats are all in on same-sex marriage and are filling their jowls from the money trough.  And many Republicans are salivating at the thought of that money but the poor dears are chained by the conservatism of their electorate.  Look on pity at them, straining on their leashes to get at some of that dough, held just back from it.  The billionaires and multi-millionaires, big men big enough to change society (big enough to change the WORLD!), looking to make their fashion statement, know those Republicans want a taste too.

And so they’ve hired other Republicans to tell them that it’s O.K.  That everything will be all right, because – “everybody’s doin’ it.”

Lobbyists who were once officials in Republican administrations, who were once Republican legislators, who were once State and County Republican Party Chairmen have started trousering large sums of money in an all-out effort to convince their fellow Republicans that “it’s all right, cause everybody’s doin’ it.”

Fashion is not democratic.  That is not why fashion exists.  I think the poet Randall Jarrell hit the nail on the head when he wrote these lines.  They’re from an essay titled “A Sad Heart at the Supermarket”:

“Our culture is essentially periodical:  we believe that all that is deserves to perish and to have something else put in its place.  We speak of planned obsolescence, but it is more than planned, it is felt; is an assumption about the nature of the world.  We feel that the present is better and more interesting, more real, than the past, and that the future will be better and more interesting, more real, than the present; but, consciously, we do not hold against the present its prospective obsolescence.

Our standards have become to an astonishing degree the standards of what is called the world of fashion, where mere timeliness – being orange in orange’s year, violet in violet’s – is the value to which all other values are reducible.”

“New products and fashions replace the old, and the fact that they replace them is proof enough of their superiority.  Similarly, the Medium does not need to show that the subjects which fill it are interesting or timely or important; the fact that they are its subjects makes them so.”

Jarrell wrote that more than 50 years ago – and before you put down Randall Jarrell as a conservative, think again, he was a follower of Marx and the young Auden (in his political phase as opposed to his spiritual).  He was also the poet laureate of the United States (though they used a different title then).


It is time to set aside fashion and embrace democracy.

Don’t let the well-paid spin artists of the lobbying world steal this for their rich paymasters.


The Trenton grease machine should not be the ones to decide this.  The voters of New Jersey should be heard on same-sex marriage and the way to let them be heard is to allow them to vote at the polls on election day.

Anything less is an act of corruption.


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