Corzine enacts civil unions
# The timing: Couples can register for civil unions beginning Feb. 19.
# The benefits: Whatever married couples get, from inheritance rights to hospital visits.
# The "marriage" debate: Gays will press on to include the word "marriage" in the law; social conservatives are proposing a number of bills to restrict marriage to one man and one woman.
On Wednesday, Corzine signed a bill that pledges $270 million to build a stem cell institute where researchers will seek medical cures using human embryonic tissue seen as sacred by some religious groups. The day before, the first-year governor legalized needle exchanges for drug addicts, which proponents say will cut down on blood-borne diseases like HIV and AIDS.
The only downside is that this is bad news for any straight men who want to marry other men.