DOMA’s Undoing – Progress to Many, a Setback to our Governor

June 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Our Supreme Court made a landmark decision this week when it overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, which since 1996 has defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. New Jersey’s Governor, my Governor, Chris Christie, publicly blasted this decision as “wrong” and what he described as “judicial supremacy.” 

I certainly appreciate lively debate, and am proud to live in a country founded on protecting the expression of opposing ideas. However, for my elected official to deem this decision flat-out wrong, and effectively dismiss the personal choices of some of his electorate, smacks of disrespect.

Governor Christie takes issue with what he deems “judicial supremacy,” but in catching up to public opinion, the court acted as it often has throughout history. When this case was initially filed, same-sex marriage was legal in 3 states; now, it’s legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Of course, I’m not foolish enough to argue that we’re a nation united in celebration over this legal development.

Sign Up for E-News

On his “Ask the Governor” radio show, the Governor commented that the Court’s decision was “incredibly insulting” to those, including President Bill Clinton, who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act seventeen years ago. What he neglected to mention is that President Clinton later renounced that legislation, called for it to be repealed, and stated that he was pleased with the Court’s recent ruling nullifying it.

Maybe Governor Christie and I do have something in common, because I find his views on the subject insulting. He was reported to have said, “I believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. I’ve said that, I ran on that, I’ve said it consistently. That doesn’t mean, in any way, shape or form, that I have anything against folks who are homosexual. In fact, I’ve said I believe people are born that way. I don’t believe it’s a choice…you were born with your sexual preference.” If I understand the spirit behind these words, he has nothing against people with the raw deal of God-given homosexuality as long as they don’t try to avail themselves of the rights and responsibilities of the chosen, heterosexual, traditionally married folk. According to the Governor, like a natural disaster, we’re an Act of God, so why can’t he be there for us like he was for those who suffered such devastation from Hurricane Sandy?

Governor Christie might be interested to know that I tried it his way. I was in what he would consider an acceptable marriage to a person of the opposite gender, but ultimately it didn’t work for me. Now, my two children and I live with my girlfriend and her three.  If the Governor spent a day with us, he might think that we’re a family: we take our kids to school, go to work, hit the grocery store, cook balanced meals, help the kids study, do endless loads of laundry, drive to baseball games, pay bills, watch America’s Got Talent, and get exhausted. He’d be mistaken. My girlfriend and I can’t get married in the state where we’ve raised our kids and set deep roots. The best we can be is partners in a civil union, so that if we travel outside of New Jersey and I get hurt, she might not be allowed to make medical decisions for me; our employers may or may not decide to offer us both health insurance; we’d have the pre-civil rights status of separate and unequal; and we’d lack the many legal protections that married people enjoy related to survivorship rights and the tax system. Most significantly, in a civil union, we would not be recognized as a family.

I have the utmost respect for the office of New Jersey Governor, and I respect Chris Christie, as only the 55th person to ever hold this title.  He’s made many personal decisions in his life; some I agree with and some I don’t.  As long as those decisions don’t infringe on my liberties, I see no reason to interfere. Ironically, while my decision to live with a woman has not a single adverse affect on the Governor’s freedoms, it limits mine, which to me is “wrong” and smells a lot like gubernatorial supremacy.



Liz Kingsley lives in Westfield with her girlfriend and their five children. During the day, she teaches Special Education and Basic Skills at a local elementary school, writes poetry and columns about her family, and directs The Writers Studio. At night, she collapses from exhaustion.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Tears Are Good, They Let The Sadness Out

January 16, 2017

Jackie Kennedy and Coretta Scott King were our nation’s role models for mourning in the 1960’s and in the decades since. They were praised for their strength and stoicism, their courage and grace, and rightly so. They were great role models for our nation at a time of great unrest and anxiety, but I would say they were not the role models we needed when it came to grieving our ...

Thank You Westfield!

January 14, 2017

Almost five years ago Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss, opened its doors in Westfield, thanks to the vision and generosity of Dr. Gerald Glasser and the leadership of Keith Hertell, our first board chair, and all the other founding board members.  We opened our doors on the  third floor of the First United Methodist Church and started our program.

Since then we have served over ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, January 17, 7:30 AM

Apa Hotel Woodbridge, Iselin

ACG Breakfast Meeting January 17, 2017

Business & Finance Food & Drink


Tue, January 17, 8:00 AM

Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness, New Providence

Lean Technique

Health & Wellness


Tue, January 17, 9:15 AM

Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness, New Providence

Xtend Barre with Joan

Health & Wellness


Tue, January 17, 10:30 AM

Providence! Integrated Health and Fitness, New Providence

Hatha Yoga Flow

Health & Wellness


Tue, January 17, 12:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Advanced Beginner Weekly Bridge Lessons

Arts & Entertainment


Tue, January 17, 3:00 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Afterschool Sports For Middle Schoolers


Nicholas J. Dimakos to Speak on Handling Contested Guardianships

January 17, 2017

Nicholas J. Dimakos, an Associate of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A., will speak on the role of the court-appointed attorney at “Handling Contested Guardianships.”  Sponsored by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE) in cooperation with the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section and the NJSBA Senior ...

Lantern Hill Job Fair Attracts Large Crowd

More than 175 job seekers attended Lantern Hill’s Healthcare Job Fair on Thursday, Jan. 12.

“What a wonderful way to start the New Year,” said Director of Human Resources Graham Haskell. “The job fair was a huge success. We are excited to begin hiring from this talented pool of applicants and welcoming new members to our dedicated team at Lantern ...

Bottle & Bottega Celebrates Month of Giving Success

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ –Bottle & Bottega is celebrating its success in motivating local residents and their guests to help make this holiday season a little brighter for the less fortunate.

Throughout November, the paint-and-sip studio held its Month of Giving event, an annual food drive to benefit The Good Shepherd Mission, a nonprofit a rehabilitation center and housing ...

Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada Honored for Service on Transportation Planning Board

Freeholder and Elizabeth resident Angel Estrada was recognized for his ongoing service on the Board of Trustees of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) at the agency’s annual meeting in Newark, Jan. 9.

Estrada has been instrumental in several infrastructure projects throughout the county, including ones in his hometown. With Freeholder Estrada’s support, the ...

'Knit/crochet with love' - BRIC (Basking Ridge Indian Community) Volunteers Make Chemo Caps

While some of the Basking Ridge Indian Community members were collecting toys and gently used coats as part of their Holiday drive to help local charities, a few others were getting together to help knit chemo caps for cancer patients. For BRIC, the spirit of GIVING does not end with the Holiday season. 

Sometime  around November 2016,  a few Basking Ridge community ...

It’s Go Time.

This one goes out to all the juniors out there. 

I can feel you squirming in your seats, “Who me?” Yes, you!  The time has come to turn that college dial up a notch.  “But I still have so much time left!”  But you really don’t.  Ideally in a year from now you’ll be sifting through acceptance letters and weighing college options ...

Man vs. Waze

A lot of strange cars are traveling through my quiet neighborhood these days.  They are not driven by my neighbors.  Some mornings I even have trouble getting out of my driveway.  


Ever since bridge repair closed a major thoroughfare near my house, the traffic on my sleepy street has increased dramatically.  And it is not by accident that commuters have figured out ...

Union County Clerk Recognized for Tech Achievement

January 14, 2017

UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi was nationally recognized for her leadership in the use of electronic recording technology.

Rajoppi was presented with the national 2016 eRecording All-Star Trailblazer Award, a competitive recognition sponsored by the global business solutions company Corporation Service Company. The Trailblazer award recognizes a recording office that has ...

Ciattarelli Announces Successful Throat Cancer Surgery, Scales Back Gubernatorial Campaign Temporarily

January 15, 2017

TRENTON, NJ - State Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, R-16th, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, announced yesterday that he had undergone successful surgery for throat cancer in November, and will be curtailing his campaign schedule temporarily.

Gearing up for a primary campaign against several other Republicans who want to run for New Jersey, Ciattarelli, a Hillsborough ...