Marriage Equality: The Big Enchilada

Garden State Equality is rapidly ramping up it efforts to help pass the recently re-introduced Marriage Equality bill (S1 and A1), which may be voted upon as early as March. The Senate appears to be taking the legislative lead on this bill. With primary sponsorship from Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Raymond Lesniak (D-20), it was immediately referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. PolitickerNJ reports that its sources indicate the Senate could already be only one vote short of passage, and its article lists senators now believed to be supporters. Less is known about the Assembly where it primary sponsors are Reed Gusciora (D-15) and Speaker Sheila Oliver (D34), and where it has not yet been referred to a committee. In spite of what PolitickerNJ says, we can not take passage for granted in the Senate, much less the Assembly.

GSE has updated its website, urging people to email their legislators, to attend scheduled events in specific NJ locations, to volunteer time, and to donate. GSE’s President Steven Goldstein says, “We need your help. Make no mistake, the excitement is happening all over again! We’re moving fast!”

Thanks to ACLUNJ, proponents gained encouragement in the recent court ruling that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association violated the state’s Law Against Discrimination when it denied Ocean Grove residents the use of its boardwalk pavilion for their 2007 Civil Union ceremony. Kudos to Lawrence Lustberg who represented the couple as a cooperating attorney for the ACLUNJ. Now it’s on to the big enchilada: Marriage Equality.

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