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So most of the states around New Jersey (with the exception of Pennsylvania) now have full marriage equality. What’s holding it up in the Garden State? Several things, as NJ.com reports:
Sixty-two percent of the 800 poll respondents are in favor of same-sex marriage approvals, the poll indicated… If the same-sex marriage question were put to voters, Weingart said New Jersey would say “yes.” Political complications, though, are holding it back. “The other possibility is the Democrats say, ‘forget you, governor. We’re going to put it on the ballot,’” Weingart added. Christie has already said he would put marriage equality to the voters. State House Democrats fought the referendum arguing civil rights should not be put to voters.
Part of this is a very understandable reluctance to put our civil rights up for a public vote. The alternative?
Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Tuesday it’s “shameful” for New Jersey to fall behind other states on the issue of marriage equality. Before this legislative term is over, Sweeney plans to put marriage equality back on the Senate agenda for a vote to override the governor’s veto. Weingart expects Republicans to hold the line with the governor and defeat the override attempt. “An override vote will certainly fail,” he said. “If Christie vetoes, (Republicans) hold the line with the veto.”
So what do you think? Should NJ send marriage equality to a public vote, or should they wait for either a larger Democratic majority or the next governor? Democrats really blew it when they failed to pass the bill during the lame-duck session in late 2009, before Christie became governor.
As marriage equality comes to Delaware and Rhode Island, there’s an almost unbroken line of states along the Atlantic Coast that now recognizes gay marriage. Then there’s Jersey. Pam’s House Blend reports:
The New Jersey state legislature passed a marriage equality bill in February, 2012. Gov. Christie vetoed it immediately. Since the bill wasn’t passed by a veto-proof majority, the race is on to secure 12 additional votes in the House and 3 in the Senate before the legislative session ends in January, 2014. This may be possible if Gov. Christie, who is known for enforcing party discipline, allows Republican legislators to vote their conscience. It would be in his best interest to do so, because he’s giving himself and New Jersey a retrograde reputation.
It’s time to bring pressure to bear on Christie to allow marriage equality to go forward in New Jersey.
Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.
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The Unitarian church will lead a marriage equality rally in Morristown, New Jersey early next month. NJ.com reports:
Members of The Unitarian Church in Summit and other New Jersey area Unitarian Universalists will lead a “Marriage Equality” march through Morristown on Friday, May 3. The march, in support of full legal recognition of same-sex marriage, will begin at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Hyatt Morristown and proceed to the Town Green, where clergy of various faiths will speak at a rally. The march is being held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist District of Metro New York, to be held May 3-4 at the Hyatt Morristown. The district covers 51 UU congregations in New York City and parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Few denominations and gotten behind marriage equality like the Unitarian Universalists. If you live near Morristown, please try to attend the rally and add to the numbers.
A new poll finds high levels of support for marriage equality in New Jersey, with 62% saying they would vote for it at the polls. Think Progress reports:
A new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll finds that an overwhelming number of New Jerseyans want to vote on the question of same-sex marriage so that they can approve it. According to the poll, 69 percent of respondents support a referendum, and 62 percent of respondents would vote yes for marriage equality while only 30 percent would oppose it. Indeed, 75 percent of those who support a referendum are supporters. Support continues to be highest among Democrats (72 percent) and independents (63 percent), and lowest among Republicans (40 percent) and self-identified conservatives (31 percent).
With support at levels this high, how much longer can Gov. Chris Christie continue to hold off for marriage equality in the state?
Should NJ democrats go around the legislature and put marriage equality on the ballot this November? Jay R. Lassiter at PolitickerNJ thinks so, and here’s why:
10. We’re already won. Game, set and match. And by “we” I mean supporters of same-sex marriage in New Jersey and beyond. Find out how, why and when.
9. We won’t override Chris Christie’s marriage equality veto anytime soon. I’m no math major but I can do basic addition. (To wit, 400 + 20 = 420.) And no matter how many times I crunch the numbers, I simply don’t see the votes adding up to trump Christie’s veto pen.
8. Have you seen the latest Q Poll? I’m a liberal democrat so naturally I’m sick of hearing how popular the Governor is. Because you know what’s just as popular? Do the words “MARRIAGE EQUALITY” come to mind?
Follow the link above for the rest of the reasons. I’m of mixed mind here. On the one hand, I’d rather see these things done legislatively than by popular vote. On the other hand, barring a sudden change of heart by Christie, the Democrats had their bite at that apple during the lame duck session before he took office, and they refused to take it.
A popular vote might be the only way to do it in New Jersey before 2017.
Extremely gay friendly Newark Mayor Corey Booker spoke out this week on ABC news about marriage equality. On Top Magazine reports:
“Look, this is an anguished reality where we have a second-class citizenship for millions, and millions of Americans who are denied over 1,000 laws,” said Booker. “Thank God we didn’t wait on the states on women’s equality under the law. Thank God we didn’t wait for the states on African Americans’ equality under the law. Thank God we didn’t wait on the states on inter(racial) marriage.”
Love him. Last we heard, he was considering a run for Senate. Go Corey, go!
With a new leader, the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU is jumping back into the marriage equality fight with both feet. LGBTQ Nation reports:
The New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has renewed its push to legalize gay marriage in the state under a new executive director. The push comes a year after Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill allowing gay couples to marry and weeks after Democratic leaders in the legislature agreed to work to override the veto. “The ACLU of New Jersey is going to do everything in its power to make marriage equality a reality,” said Udi Ofer, the group’s executive director. “It’s unacceptable that we have one person stopping same-sex marriage from becoming a reality in New Jersey.”
It all depends on whether a) Governor Christie has a change of heart, b) the legislature can override a potential veto, or c) they decide to put it on the ballot.
New Jersey’s largest marriage equality group is calling on Governor Chris Christie to evolve and support a marriage equality bill, On Top Magazine reports:
A new petition campaign launched Thursday by Garden State Equality aims to change the governor’s stance on the issue. As of Friday morning, more than 2,000 people had signed on to the 3-sentence petition. “Governor Christie, it’s time to evolve,” it states. “Marriage equality is no longer a single-party issue. Please support the freedom to marry for all New Jersey families.”
And about that whole “evolving” thing, John McWhorter takes it on at the New Republic:
It hardly renders one recreationally skeptical to question, for example, whether the pot-smoking Blue American cosmopolitan that the college-aged Barack Obama was, later the editor of the Harvard Law Review publicly embracing radical leftist law professor Derrick Bell, actually disapproved of gay people getting married. Or, who among us thinks that Hillary Clinton five years ago would have told a friend over a glass of wine that she thought gay people getting married was “unnatural”? We are witnessing the recruitment of a noble word as a fig leaf for political opportunism. If in our current political realities that’s what it takes to drive change that betters humanity, then perhaps the most “evolved” assessment is to classify the ploy as a seedy Hegelian antithesis yielding a blessed synthesis, under which America evolves, in the true sense, towards enlightenment.
So evolve away!