Conservatives understand that this movement is about rewriting our cultural script, and redefining our values, as it is about legal technicalities and rights and benefits.
But if this is the case, why should the New Jersey decision, which falls short of outright legalization of same sex marriage, be a motivator in boosting Republican turnout in November?
Because the decision moves the ball a long ways downfield.
The court concluded the absence of the identical rights and benefits for same sex couples that traditional opposite sex married couples enjoy constituted a violation under the equal protection clause of the state constitution. This reasoning, therefore, established essential equivalency between traditional marriage and same-sex unions. On what basis the court felt that it had authority to make this leap of equivalency is totally unclear.
We only learn, in the decision, that "times and attitudes have changed."
Reading through the decision, you wouldn't get a clue that there might be legitimate challenges to what is offered as fact that individuals have no choice in their "sexual orientation." The slope down which we've slid to arrive to where we are today has been so slippery that most don't even realize we've been on a journey.
Regardless of what the New Jersey legislature does three months from now, whether they legalize same-sex marriage or call it a civil union, same-sex unions have achieved a decisive and significant new level of legal, and hence social, acceptance as result of this decision.
Prior to this week, same sex partnership in New Jersey was not a duck. Now it is. We just can't call it one _ yet. Our traditional understanding of marriage and family, has been placed under siege.
Let's recall Confucius' observation that "When words lose their meaning, people will lose their liberty."
The New Jersey decision will shake many depressed, alienated, hostile and apathetic conservatives out of their doldrums. It will remind them of the damage that those to whom they're prepared to abdicate power can really do.
Many decisive races are very close and even a small boost in turnout will make a difference.
Virginia and Tennessee, both of which have very close senate races that could determine control of the Senate, have same-sex marriage bans on their ballots.
We have had to pay a price in New Jersey. But Republican prospects are looking much brighter today than they looked a month ago.