Forced to legalize either gay marriages or civil unions, the New Jersey legislature (run by Democrats) has chosen civil unions.
The civil unions bill passed the state Assembly by a vote of 59 to 19 and the state Senate by a vote of 23 to 12. [Gov. Jon] Corzine has said he will sign it. The law will create a 13-member Civil Union Review Commission, which will study how well the unions work, evaluate similar statutes in other states, and recommend changes to improve the law.
Traditional marriage stalwarts are tickled by New Jersey's decision, since if the legislature had gone a little further gay marriage would now have a toehold in two states. But really, think of how far gay marriage advocates have come. What was a radical position in Vermont six years ago is now a mainstream compromise. Lawmakers in Canada and Massachusetts, given a chance to roll back legal gay marriage, have decided against it (Flip-floppin' Mitt Romney's disgusting preening all for naught).