Open Thread: Full Assembly Votes on NJ Marriage Equality

Well, this is it.

The vote count in the Assembly have never been as secure as the votes in the Senate. So, today we will see if there has been the same kind of movement in the legislature’s lower house as we saw last week in the upper house.

Two ways you can follow the discussion and vote:

  • Watch Live here.

    Note: You will need Windows Media Player, which you can download free at the bottom of the legislature’s media page. Session is scheduled to begin at noon. But frequently, they’re late. Refresh the media page often. When you see the ‘Pending’ notification go to ‘Listen’, you should be able to hear the proceedings.

  • Follow us on Twitter @bluejersey.

    The fight for civil rights has never been about granting them. It’s always been about recognizing rights. This fight is about fairness in marriage, about recognizing the rights of gay people’s families to be as supported by their communities, by their states and by the laws that govern us all.

    And, for me, it has always been about what we do for younger people. For most young adults of both parties, this is a settled question. They accept gay people marrying, they expect acceptance for their own lives and the lives of their friends. Part of life is love, part of love is hope. There are a lot of young eyes on today’s vote. They want to see what kind of New Jersey will belong to them.  

  • Comments (174)

    1. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      If you’re following us also on Twitter @bluejersey, the hashtag we’re using is #MarriageNJ

      Reply
    2. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Some members already seated and appearing to work on speeches – – Gusciora (sponsor), Greenwald, Carroll.

      Reply
    3. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      80 names. 48 Democrats. 41 needed to pass the Bill.  

      Reply
    4. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      IMG_20120216_121327

      Reply
    5. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Scheduled to start 1pm, it’s officially late. Typical. But it could begin at any moment. It’s a good time to remind you if you’re trying to listen in to the legislature’s live feed (the link’s above in the post), refresh the page often.

      Right now, status is still Pending.  

      Reply
    6. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Correction – 47 Democrats – Gabby Mosquera’s spot on the board is still blank.

      Reply
    7. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Agendas on members desks: Call to Order, Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance. The usual.  

      Reply
    8. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Agendas on members desks: Call to Order, Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance. The usual.  

      Reply
    9. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      j4ipx

      Reply
    10. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      x1chcThat’s Garden State Equality Chair Steven Goldstein with Asw Mila Jasey and Asm Albert Coutinho. And that’s the DNC’s first-ever transgender person to serve on the national Democrats’ executive committee, Babs Casbar Siperstein in the background with a big smile on her face.  

      Reply
    11. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Still not underway.  

      Reply
    12. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      And there’s a sense of history in the room. Here, smiling for Blue Jersey’s camera, L-R, Asw Valerie Huttle, and GSE board members LuannePeterpaul and Lucy O’Brien.  

      Reply
    13. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Session begins with benediction.  

      Reply
    14. zi985

      The live feed is now on…

      Reply
    15. the pollster
      Reply
    16. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Will now administer the oath of office to BettyLou DeCroce who will fill the vacancy in the 26th District left by the death of her husband, Asm Alex DeCroce, who died after a long day of work on the very last day of lame duck session a few weeks ago. Tragic and unsettling for the legislature, particularly because his death occurred in the Statehouse itself. Big, big applause for the new Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, whose children are standing next to her.  

      Reply
    17. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Now welcoming her with brief speeches, Majority Leader Greenwald followed by Minority Leader Bramnick, with warm words.  

      Reply
    18. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      The new assemblywoman says about her husband, “No one – no one – could ever fill his shoes.”

      And from there, we go to the entirely expected lauding of one Gov. Chris Christie, as Asw DeCroce pledges to assist him.  

      Reply
    19. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      The machine is being opened for a quorum call to reflect for the first time ever the new Assemblywoman’s presence in the chamber as a full voting member. Applause.  

      Reply
    20. CariAnnV

      Please sign this petition that only needs 38 more signatures for a Colorado state hearing that start at 2pm our time – 10 minutes.

      “Without local control, their are no protections for the citizens that are affected by oil and gas. This means that control over the setback distances, drilling spacing units, storage/disposal of carcinogenic waste water, the depletion of underground water supplies, the contamination of underground water supplies, the flaring of carcinogenic gas from wells, the traffic as well as the general impact on human and animal health, property values and quality of life will reside only in the hands of the State bureaucrats. The COGCC does not have a mission to protect landowners and residents. ”

      http://www.change.org/petition

      Thank you!  Carolyne Volpe Curley

      Reply
    21. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Lt. Col Thomas Mayfield, a member of the Tuskeegee Airmen is being recognized. Reminds me: Go see “Red Tails” the film about the Tuskeegee Airmen that was produced by George Lucas with the help of some of the surviving airmen. Flawed film, but great story.  

      Reply
    22. Alex

      …unlike during the Senate session on Monday. Keeping fingers crossed.

      Reply
    23. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      It is Beyond the thrill of my life to stand here with Col Mayfield.  

      Reply
    24. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Talks about how the Airmen were expected to fail – got the worst planes, but succeeded anyway.  

      Reply
    25. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Legislature’s live video feed just started skipping. Grrrrr.

      Reply
    26. CariAnnV

      “Two bloggers from Gay U.S.A. attended a rally for Rick Santorum in Tacoma on Monday evening to see what the GOP presidential contender had to say about the same-sex marriage bill signed into law by Washington state’s governor earlier in the day.

      Three protesters were arrested at the event, including the two bloggers, and another protester who was arrested later in the evening for glitter-bombing Santorum. Other reports tie the protesters to the Occupy Tacoma group. Here is a snippet of their account of the evening:”

      http://occupyamerica.crooksand

      Reply
    27. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      plans to use his time before the microphone today to call for bi-partisan , pointedly telling the lower chamber he hopes they will vote their conscience. McKeon is a prime sponsor of this bill and also a sponsor of both the domestic partnership and civil union legislation. McKeon:

      “I stand before you today with the greatest of appreciation for Speaker Oliver’s advocacy, hoping that today is that day.  Yet the political realities, presuming Governor Christie will not yield on this issue to assure equal protection and basic civil rights, is a sad reality.

      “For countless New Jersey families this is not a political issue at all.  They are waiting, waiting for a day when they can conduct their affairs in the same manner as their heterosexual counterparts. They are waiting to see their sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters and even their parents, granted the civil right of marriage on an equal footing.”  

      Reply
    28. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Assembly joined by Senator Loretta Weinberg, who rushed down the hall to honor her longtime friend Councilman Jack Drakeford.

      Reply
    29. Alex

      …to have a case of the giggles.

      Reply
    30. Alex

      …I’m going to miss the Assembly vote. I’m at work and have a meeting at 3:00 PM. Sigh.

      Reply
    31. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      on legislative vid feed, here at the Blue Jersey mothership. Meanwhile, I won’t post what we just snapped of Sen. Weinberg chatting with Steven Goldstein, because it’s not the prettiest picture of either of them. And that’s how I roll.  

      Reply
    32. CariAnnV

      “As full NJ Assembly convenes to vote on Marriage Equality, NJTV is doing historical re-enactments in Colonial Williamsburg.”

      Reply
    33. CariAnnV

      That the “drama” of the Marriage Equality vote mentioned by Christie is being provided by Sheila Oliver as she describes William Payne

      Reply
    34. CariAnnV

      Please tell me it’s not being used in any of our school districts still, as William Payne just suggested

      Reply
    35. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      here we go.  

      Reply
    36. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      here we go.  

      Reply
    37. Alex

      Assemblyman Gusciora finally gets to rise to introduce A1. This hasn’t just been almost two hours in the waiting. This has been years in the waiting.

      Reply
    38. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Thanks the Speaker for posting the bill, one of the most important moments in his life as a legislator. Thanks the legislative staff, and his own mother.

      The legislature’s media feed is inadequate, stopping every few seconds.  

      Reply
    39. the pollster

      Annoying buffering problem now–when we are getting to the meat of the matter.

      Linda

      Reply
    40. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Seems to be the theme of the day. Marriage equality supporters simple request to vote based on their own sensibilities and not to merely fall to Gov. Chris Christie’s party discipline.

      Reply
    41. CariAnnV

      “Straight allies are awesome, and essential.

      But hearing an openly gay Legislator advancing the bill is unique, and powerful. “

      Reply
    42. CariAnnV

      “Gusciora speaks of interracial marriages, saying that during that debate people were worried that integration would lead to marrying dogs”

      Reply
    43. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Makes the connection between the situation gay people are in in New Jersey and Mildred and Richard Loving, who were told their interracial marriage made them unwelcome to live in the state of Virginia. Loving v. Virginia.

      Reply
    44. CariAnnV

      “Gusciora: this is about whether one set of persons will be second class citizens. Words do matter”

      Reply
    45. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Words matter” – and as long as the Government decides who is “married” – it must treat everyone equally.

      Reply
    46. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Straight allies are awesome, and essential. But hearing an openly gay Legislator advancing the bill is unique, and powerful.

      Stand behind that, all the way. In all my straightiness.

      Reply
    47. CariAnnV

      “Gusciora says that marriage has changed over time, unlike what opponents are saying.

      Women are no longer property.

      Divorce is legal. “

      Reply
    48. Alex

      I’m glad I got to stay on at least long enough to hear Assemblyman Gusciora.

      Reply
    49. CariAnnV

      “Should two people be allowed to love each other in the privacy of their own home?

      (Not a trick question.)

      Vote Yes!”

      Reply
    50. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      We stand in the midst of history. Talks about strolling through statehouse looking at portraiture extending back more than 100 years. Talks about the progress made in this building.

      I am a lover of history. I also relish being an American. Something history has taught me: Democracy for all people to exist in our democracy is a right guaranteed in our constitution. Remembers trying to understand why as an African Ameircan a constitution was drawn up that listed her as 3/5th of a person. And it was upheld. That is what today is about.

      My favorite flag: Gold with the serpent: Don’t tread on me. That is what this day is about here.

      Speaker Oliver is holding back tears.  

      Reply
    51. CariAnnV

      “Assem Speaker Sheila Oliver up now. Says `today we can make history.’

      She sounds pained while she’s talking, emotional.”

      Reply
    52. CariAnnV

      “Oliver: Something that history has taught me as an American is that the ability of all people to be equal is a guaranteed right”

      Reply
    53. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      I was elected to General Assembly 2003. If legislation had been put through this house at that time I will tell you – – I was not there.

      She is talking about what being in “this chamber” for 9 years has taught her that we are not treating all our citizens equally.

      Four ministers in her family – so she knows about religious traditions. She knows not to foist her religious obligations on other people. I have no trouble with a different view than my own. But MY christian-judaic tradition tells me my Creator does not allow me to judge another person.

      Wow.  

      Reply
    54. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Let’s make the leap to full equality now. In NJ we are subjugating a portion of our constituency to inequality

      Reply
    55. CariAnnV

      “Sheila says the practice of counting blacks as three-fifths of a person was propagated and propped up by legislation.”

      Reply
    56. CariAnnV

      “Asm. Speaker Oliver calls on NJ to make ‘giant step’ to end ‘subjugating’ state citizen”

      Reply
    57. CariAnnV

      “Oliver says if this legislation came up in 2004, she wouldn’t have voted for it. `I was not there,’ she said.”

      Reply
    58. CariAnnV

      “Oliver: My Christian teachings taught me that I don’t have the right to judge anyone else.”

      Reply
    59. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      right now, as Speaker Sheila Oliver is making what may be the defining speech of her legislative career. And little Arthur (who appears to be some kind of animated rodent) is flopping around in an animated swimming pool.  

      Reply
    60. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      is not in the chamber. One less Democratic vote.  

      Reply
    61. CariAnnV

      “Oliver: “We cannot single out any one group of people and deem them to be undeserving of the same legal protections.”

      Reply
    62. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Oliver: My Christian teachings taught me that I don’t have the right to judge anyone else.

      Reply
    63. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      No sound from the legislature’s not-so-live feed. #bandwidth

      Reply
    64. CariAnnV

      “Oliver says she got a note from Assemblyman from NY congratulating NJ assembly for supporting gay marriage.

      That Assemblyman is now married to his partner in NY.”

      Reply
    65. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      rises to speak – a rare speaker – this is not a religious issue, it is a civil rights issue. Voting Yes!

      Reply
    66. CariAnnV

      Assemblywoman Tucker struggled over marriage equality. She’s from a religious family. Speaks of struggling with friends, family, and Church members.”

      Reply
    67. CariAnnV

      “Assemblywoman Tucker said she was conflicted with her vote: “My district sent me here to protect everyone’s civil rights”

      Reply
    68. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Anybody else getting an error message?  

      Reply
    69. CariAnnV

      “Tucker says, “This is not is religious issue. It’s a civil rights issue…I will be supporting yes on this bill.”

      Reply
    70. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      They elected us to make difficult legislative decisions, not to punt.  

      Reply
    71. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      This is about family. Not the kind of family, but the love of family. The time for equality is now.

      Reply
    72. CariAnnV

      “Today we are casting a vote that will be written abut in history books.. Our grandchildren will wonder what all the fuss was about.”  

      Reply
    73. CariAnnV

      “Assm. Dep. Speaker John Wisniewski up. Says “today’s vote is 1 stop on a long road …to bring about equality and fairness.”

      Reply
    74. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Your live streaming of audio and video of key sessions is much appreciated. But it is also inadequate and unreliable. Can’t we fix this?  

      Reply
    75. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

       how far we’ve come on this journey. Now it’s time to break down the wall that separates us.

      Reply
    76. CariAnnV

      “Wisniewski: “For those who vote “no” there won’t be a footnote saying that an Assemblyman is waiting for referendum. Voters will only see the “no”

      Reply
    77. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      This bill is not about religion. It does not require any religion to perform marriages

      Reply
    78. CariAnnV

      “Jasey “I could not have imagined when I came here that in 2012 in NJ we would still be debating this issue”

      Reply
    79. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Assemblyman Jerry Green, serving as speaker, tells audience to knock off the applause.

      Reply
    80. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Just celebrated 32nd Valentine’s Day with his partner. Represents all his constituents, not just some.

      Reply
    81. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Was ready to support marriage equality back when NJ passed Domestic Partnership. Told it was not the time. Now it is.

      Reply
    82. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

       thanks Asm Reed Gusciora for sponsoring – – and for living openly as example to others.  

      Reply
    83. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      photo-4

      Reply
    84. Alex

      This sure hits home. My husband and I, sick of waiting for NJ to grant us the dignity we deserved, crossed the river to marry in New York as soon as we could. And we spent as much money there as we could, money that would otherwise have been spent in New Jersey.

      Reply
    85. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Christie apparently does not intend to veto the bill today anyway.

      Reply
    86. CariAnnV

      “Assemblyman McKeon: marriage equality would bring millions in revenue to NJ. Couples shouldn’t have to cross the border to we’d. “

      Reply
    87. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Asks those who rely on procreation to oppose equality: would you deny marriage to straight couples who can’t?

      Reply
    88. CariAnnV

      “Says to those opposed: `Empathy’s the very essence of our humanity. Find it in yourself.’

      Reply
    89. Alex

      …not simply be an echo of a majority’s biases.

      Reply
    90. CariAnnV

      Has the gavel been misplaced?

      Reply
    91. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R) says polls show wide support, so “trust the people of NJ” and put it on ballot. Opposition erupts w/cheering.

      Reply
    92. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      acting for the time being as Speaker says: “this is the last time I’ll accept this disrespect”. Says he’ll call state police if need be.

      Reply
    93. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Assm. Munoz moves to return bill, Greenwald moves to table that motion. Munoz’s motion is tabled, 44-31

      Reply
    94. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Assm. Munoz moves to return bill, Greenwald moves to table that motion. Munoz’s motion is tabled, 44-31

      Reply
    95. CariAnnV

      “Motion to send the bill back to committee failed, 44-31”

      Reply
    96. CariAnnV

      “Assemblywoman Lampitt telling story of her friends – a NJ Civil Union couple – denied a mortgage.”

      Reply
    97. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      remembers the eloquent testimony at bullying law debate last year. LGBT teens bullied at higher rate.

      The only way we teach people that all are equal is to actually treat everyone equally.  

      Reply
    98. CariAnnV

      “Assemblyman Charles Mainor said not too long ago he was against this bill. Says `I was afraid of what my voting yes would to to our children.”

      Reply
    99. CariAnnV

      “Rep Walsh’s epic speech from WA last week is making its way into the NJ debate today!”

      Reply
    100. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

       admits he wasn’t always in support. But he realizes same-sex couples just want equality, like his forefathers.

      BOOM. There it is.  

      Reply
    101. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      (a divorced Catholic, remarried – thanks NJ for recognizing). Voting yes because everyone deserves equality.

      Reply
    102. CariAnnV

      Hugs to Joe.

      Reply
    103. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      shares testimony of a Republican from Washington – who thought of her love for her departed husband.

      And voted yes.

      Reply
    104. the pollster

      Between Joe Cryan’s beautiful words and this woman’s rant.

      Reply
    105. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      WordGirl at 3:56pm:

      WordGirl

      Curious George at 4:01pm:

      Curious George 4-01

      Reply
    106. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      speaks against the bill. Her relatives came on the Mayflower and served in the Legislature. Not much else. Great.

      Marion Coatsworth Hay approves. @MCoatsworthHay  

      Reply
    107. CariAnnV

      “Opposition member escorted out by State Trooper for cheering. “

      Reply
    108. CariAnnV

      “Assemblyman Conaway calls in his colleagues to live out the words of their oath to office. He’ll vote yes”

      Reply
    109. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Assemblyman Herb Conaway reads from  – gasp –  the Constitution. Our Supreme Court already ruled for equality.

      Reply
    110. CariAnnV

      “Opponent to bill in gallery yelled `Amen’ to McHose’s comment. Got thrown out by state trooper. Green already warned audience about outbursts.”

      Reply
    111. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      relates back to Brown v. Bd of Education – can separate be equal? (Answer: No)

      This bill not only affects a small segment of the population, rather it sends message to everyone about our society.

      The idea of holding a referendum on minority civil rights is offensive. Equal rights are God-given. Voting Yes!

      Reply
    112. CariAnnV

      “Conaway saying we are born with rights as Americans. “Shall we treat people differently based on who they choose to love.”

      Reply
    113. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

       lays it out – for as long as I serve in this Legislature, I will always stand up for equality.

      Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman wasn’t planning to speak. But wants it clear. She has never questioned what we’re doing today.

      Reply
    114. CariAnnV

      “Assemblywoman Watson Coleman comes from a strongly religious background. “We need to come out of the darkness and into the light.”

      Reply
    115. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      This is an issue of civil rights. When the Government issues a marriage license, it may not discriminate.

      God doesn’t make mistakes. If he created you, you are perfect. Push the green button!

      #LOVE

      Reply
    116. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      This is an issue of civil rights. When the Government issues a marriage license, it may not discriminate.

      God doesn’t make mistakes. If he created you, you are perfect. Push the green button!

      #LOVE

      Reply
    117. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      ran in November with Assemblyman Tim Eustace – who is openly gay, for those who do not know –  with their marriage equality views fully public. The voters spoke. Vote Yes!

      Reply
    118. CariAnnV

      “Watson Coleman says other issues are important, too, but we need to get this over with because it’s 2012.

      This shouldn’t be taking so much time.”

      Reply
    119. CariAnnV

      “Assemblyman Jay Webber R-Morris says gays should not have the ability to have `their desires redefine marriage for everyone else.’

      Reply
    120. CariAnnV

      “Webber says incidents against gay and lesbian couples, `though tragic, are not widespread.’

      Says of the 13 complaints to state, 12 dismissed.”

      Reply
    121. CariAnnV

      “If my tenure in Trenton is for years or for only two more minutes,  I will always stand for the equality of all citizens”

      Reply
    122. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Thing One wants to marry Thing Two!

      Or at least that’s what I’m getting from what NJTV is now broadcasting instead of, you know, the historic vote going down at the Statehouse right now.

      Cat in the Hat 4-31

      Reply
    123. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      predictably opposes marriage equality because husband-wife, doctor-patient, and lawyer-client are all lonstanding relationships.

      That is not a joke. He really said that.  

      Reply
    124. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Linda Stender: performed civil marriage ceremonies way back when. Civil. Marriage. Voting Yes

      Conners: We were sent here to lead.

      Burzichelli: Marriage will be bigger after today.

      Reply
    125. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      but I have to get to a meeting.

      I hope someone else can pick up this live blog – CariAnnV?

      Reply
    126. CariAnnV

      YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!

      Reply
    127. CariAnnV
    128. CariAnnV

      Schaer, Egan, Milam and Albano as no votes

      Reply
    129. CariAnnV

      Hugs!

      Reply
    130. CariAnnV
    131. CariAnnV

      “Actual vote was 42-33 – one Assemblyman’s button stuck.”

      Reply
    132. CariAnnV

      1. Assembly OKs gay marriage bill, heads to Christie’s desk

      http://www.politickernj.com/54

      2. If it passes the assembly, Christie won’t veto marriage equality bill today

      http://www.politickernj.com/54

      thank you Alex!

      Reply
    133. CariAnnV

      New Jersey Assembly OKs gay marriage; veto awaits

      http://www.reuters.com/article

      Reply
    134. carolh
      Reply
    135. CariAnnV

      “Gusciora “I hope the Governor reconsiders. Even Scrooge changed his mind after a good night’s sleep.”

      Reply
    136. CariAnnV

      N.J. Assembly passes gay marriage bill

      http://www.nj.com/news/index.s

      Reply
    137. CariAnnV

      NJ Assembly Passes Gay Marriage Bill

      http://www.nytimes.com/aponlin

      Reply
    138. Cautious Man

      … a simple question –

      In 20 years, when one of his then-grown kids asks him about his response to this legislation, will he defend a veto, or talk about how he signed it?  

      Reply

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