About that Tweet

Promoted by Rosi – It was the tweet that ricocheted around New Jersey, not long after Steve Sweeney made an infuriating statement. Angry and kind of profane, Newark Councilman Ron Rice tweeted the fury a lot of us felt:

I am here n AC w/ Sen Sweeney & if/when I c him, I am going 2 give him a piece of my mind on the issue of marriage equality. Fu$%@ng sellout

Much has been made about my Twitter comments regarding Senator Sweeney’s statement on the legislative prioritization of marriage equality.  Let me first apologize to the Senator for the passion and heat of my comments.  Those that know me personally know that commenting in that tone and fashion is not my normal modus operandi.  I have a great deal of respect for the Senator, his leadership capabilities and know that we Democrats need to rally around him to support our principles as a party especially in these hard times.

But it is because of that respect that I made my comments.  Senator Sweeney and others in the state Legislature are masters in fighting for the least of these in our society, those ignored and neglected by the world and that is why I am a supporter of his and a proud Democrat.  Being the voice of the voiceless is why our party has made the tough decisions that has brought the greatest positive changes to America and New Jersey.  We are at our lowest, however, when we retreat from those principles, when we adopt the Ostrich mentality, or when we say, why can’t you wait.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in a Letter from a Birmingham Jail about why African Americans could not wait when progressive White Southern Christian ministers and clergy questioned his direct, non-violent tactics.  He wrote:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

I support marriage equality now because my life as a heterosexual man is affected when others in my community that may not be do not have the same rights and privileges I have under the law and Constitution, in fact, my life is somewhat diminished.

I sponsored the legislation creating the most progressive and powerful LGBTIQ Commission in New Jersey with Mayor Cory Booker in Newark because we understand that notion. At a community unveiling of the Commission last week, the pride, commitment to being an active component of our Newark community, and yes, tears of joy showed me the power of empowering someone else, of granting something to someone that you or I take for granted. And it was priceless.  But was also priceless was seeing same sex couples at the event, many of whom I know have been in loving realtionships for longer than most of my heterosexual, straight counterparts and I was struck by the fact that their love is not recognized by the law as it should be, FUNDAMENTALLY !!! They are half citizens of my state and city even as the Mayor and I were seeking to give them more power, a terrible dichotomy.

Marriage equality has to happen now and retreat is tantamount to waiting and thereby denying the LGBTIQ community their humanity and by association, a lil’ bit of our own.

I know my leadership in Trenton won’t fail us because they can’t. And my “Tweet” represented that, rightly or wrongly stated.  Dr. King also coined the rationale for change in a manner that President Obama references reguarly: the fierce urgency of now.  Now, is the time and it is time to step up.

Comments (8)

  1. firstamend07

    Why should anyone  care what a city councilman from Newark said?

    Are there not enough problems in Newark to keep him busy?

    I just don’t get why he is important tothe issue.  

  2. firstamend07

    For all of you Sweeney haters please read this from the Star Ledger:

    “We have the ability in the Legislature to talk about this bill and address the economic crisis at the same time,” she said.

    Today, Sweeney agreed, saying his original comments were misconstrued.

    “This is a priority, and we can do more than one thing in lame duck,” he said of the legislative session that starts Monday. “This is an important social issue that should have its day, and it could be now. If not today, tomorrow or in the future, it should be discussed.”

    Weinberg is the prime sponsor of the gay marriage bill.Weinberg was similarly conciliatory.

    “I believe we had a miscommunication” she said before acknowledging a political reality.

    “It’s up to the current Senate president, Dick Codey. He’s got the responsibility to move the bill along,” she said. “And Senator Sweeney has told me that he will not impede that in any way, shape or form.”

    Weinberg understands what needs to be done.

    This newark councilman is just an unneeded diversion and can only hurt passage.

    Keep your eye on the ball! Call Sarlo and Codey!!!  

  3. Nick Lento

    …..it’s great to see a courageous and forthright affirmation of common human decency coming from an elected official!


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