Author's Note: This letter was sent to Governor Chris Christie. He can be contacted here. File the letter under Requesting Proclamations/Special Letter.
Dear Mr. Governor,
You have recently stated your opposition to the legalization of gay marriage, stating that if such a law came to your desk, you would veto it. I greatly implore you to rethink this decision for it is one that facilitates a continuation of a system of inequality against the LGBT+ community.
The LGBT+ community is already having serious problems as not only have there been a considerable amount of suicides last year due to bullying, but we don’t even have the prospects of getting a marriage bill passed on the federal level as President Obama himself has stated quite explicitly in the past that he was not in favor of gay marriage. While these tragedies are currently being addressed, there are still strong pockets of harassment and attacks on those who identify as LGBT+. These issues are not far away; this bullying hit quite close to home recently as just recently anti-gay messages were found at Montclair State University, with one the messages promising that gays would be killed on February 7th. While no violence may have occurred last week, it still serves as an example that there are individuals who wish to harm people for no reason other than their sexual orientation.
There are many arguments against the legalization of gay marriage; however, one that persists is the argument that it goes against the religious beliefs of certain individuals. While these people have a right to their beliefs, this country was founded on laws to ensure that the rights of everyone have to be respected. They may have the right to be against gay marriage, but they do not have the right to curb on my civil liberties or that of other individuals. In this country we have the separation of church and state to ensure that laws favoring a certain religion and that any legislation passed remains free of any religious influence. This is not because religion is negative, but rather this is done to ensure that we do not evolve into a theocracy. The fact that everyone has their freedoms respected is a part of what makes this nation great.
Other states have moved to give equality to all of their citizens with the latest state being Washington. The populations of these states have decided that gay marriage is not a major issue and want equality for all of their citizens. I am already a proud New Jerseyan and having New Jersey be among the few states that have legalized gay marriage will only make me have even more pride and love for my state.
LGBT+ people are not arguing to be treated differently than anyone else. Rather, we are asking to be treated the same as the rest of the population, given the same rights and privileges as everyone else. Thus, when you see the bill upon your desk, I do hope that you will first think of the ideals that this nation was built upon and the ideals that the citizens of this state believe in, before you veto a bill that would be a veto of equality for a group of people who want nothing more than to marry the person that they love.