Marriage Equality – For the Record

Following almost seven hours of testimony on Thursday, the members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee went on record with their votes to move the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption bill to the full chamber.  As in the Senate committee, the vote was along party lines, with some Democrats expressing reservations but ultimately voting for equality while other Democrats were solidly in favor.

The two Republicans on the committee had interesting views and their remarks are worth listening to. It still surprises me how a libertarian like Michael Patrick Carroll can be for discrimination and government intervention in a civil rights issue. His argument comes right out of the Santorum playbook – since there is no societal benefit to equal rights, it’s fine to vote against them.

Freshman GOP Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi appeared torn and indecisive. Her rambling remarks argued both sides of the issue but she ultimately voted for discrimination. I don’t know if she can be flipped, but it would certainly be worthwhile if she could hear from pro-equality constituents. In the arc of the history of the New Jersey Assembly, she’ll go down as having cast her first vote in favor of discrimination. I wonder if she wants this to be the legacy of her political career.

The video is 29 minutes long. If you want to jump ahead, here are the starting times for each speaker:

Gordon Johnson (D) 00:00

Reed Gusciora (D) 02:03

Ralph Caputo (D) 05:58

Annette Quijano (D) 07:40

Holly Schepisi (R) 13:20

Michael Patrick Carroll (R) 21:35

Peter Barnes (D) 22:33

Voting 28:01

Comments (4)

  1. Alex

    …of Assemblywoman Schepisi’s statement, I have to say it’s hard to take on face value. When she goes on about how she had “no idea” that marriage equality was even and issue or that civil unions were not working, I have to ask myself where she was two years ago, when this issue was coming to a head and driving a marathon effort to get marriage equality passed. Did she not watch the news? Did she not read the newspapers? And to admit that she wasn’t aware of this right up until her swearing in? She’s either sadly uninformed about what has been an ongoing matter in this state for a few years or she’s being insincere. I did write to her but, on second hearing, I’m left trying to figure her statement out.

  2. deciminyan (Post author)

    Here’s an index to my recent videos from the State House on marriage equality. I don’t have everything posted, so if there’s some testimony that I left out that you’d like posted (other than the pro-discrimination folks – that’s a waste of bandwidth, and I’ll let NOM take care of that), let me know.  

  3. Jeff Gardner

    Holy wow! I don’t know the Assemblywoman well, but what an introduction this video was! She was absolutely amazing. 4 stars. 🙂


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