Will Senators Sweeney, Sarlo, Beach, Van Drew and Madden follow their colleague to defend gay youth after their NO(N) votes on equality?
From today’s Courier Post:
Tyler Clementi’s fatal plunge off the GW Bridge last week spurred the legislation, introduced by Sen. Shirley Turner. A bipartisan bill – termed the “anti-bullying bill of rights” by Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri and Mary Pat Angelini – is currently being written and will be introduced shortly.
As one of the Democrats who voted against gay marriage equality, Turner might seem a dubious choice to lead the charge in this battle. The NJ-ALCU legal director issued a withering denunciation of Turner and her colleagues, namely Senate Pres. Steve Sweeney whose non-vote on marriage create a climate of inequality that imperils our kids to begin with. It’s a fair argument and I am glad someone made it.
But I’m also glad that Shirley Turner –regardless of her vote — is sponsoring this legislation and that Sweeney called for a moment of silence to honor Tyler Clementi. If Steve Sweeney wants to sign on as co-sponsor that’d be a bonus.
Come to think of it, I’d invite all the Democrats who voted NO (or abstained) on marriage to sign on as primary co-sponsors to Senator Turner’s Bullying Bill of Rights. Senators Beach, Sarlo, Van Drew, and Madden this means YOU!
It’s hard to forgive and forgive and move on from that cold winter day when the Democratic caucus folded on gay rights in New Jersey. But what’s on the table at the moment is a different opportunity: to craft and pass a bill that’s so darn good at protecting kids from bullying and harassment that 49 other states want to import it for themselves.
If I’m being naive, it wouldn’t be the first time.