This Felt Like a Really Lo-o-o-o-ng Week

You all know what happened. Marriage Equality passed by a vote of 24 to 16 in the Senate and 42 to 33 in the Assembly. “Governor I am on all sides of the issue” simply keeps on trying various ways to say everything except “Marriage Equality”. Here’s a recap:

1. If they send me a bill, I’ll review it.

2. If they send me a bill, I’ll veto it.

3. They shouldn’t send me a bill. We should put it on

   the ballot.

4. We shouldn’t be discussing this at all. We should

   only be talking about taxes and jobs.

5. Conditionally veto: Put it on the ballot and name a

   “Civil Union Ombudsman” to hear all civil union

   problems. (Should we have a heterosexual

   ombudsman also?)

He tried every which way to talk about “the issue” without talking about the “real issue” – Marriage Equality. Thank you Governor. You have taken a big bow to the ultra right wing (seems to be growing more like the mainstream) of your party. Now we will work to encourage more folks to “evolve”. There will be much work to do to find the necessary votes (27 in the Senate and 54 in the Assembly) to override this veto. We have almost two years to win this idea whose time has definitely come! In the meantime, we might be hearing more “input” from the courts. So we will be patient and strategic!

A “Shout Out” to a few legislators. (My personal opinion only.)  In the Senate to Senators Jennifer Beck and Diane Allen who bucked their own party! Senator Shirley Turner who met with constituents and made it her business to listen to folks concerns and then to respond accordingly and to cast a Yes vote. In the Assembly to Assemblyman Peter Barnes, Jr. who ran a great Judiciary meeting and when the bill came to the floor gave it a thoughtful analysis and also voted Yes, even though it meant a potential problem with his church. To Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly who spoke eloquently about his own evolution.  And to Speaker Sheila Oliver for a great floor speech!

It was hard work on the part of many folks which produced this result. Special thanks to Congressman John Lewis, Steven Goldstein and Garden State Equality, Jeannine LaRue, Jamie Fox, our Democratic leadership in both houses, the many editorial writers (including Blue Jersey), and so many advocates too numerous to mention. A big Thank You for helping to move this issue forward. We took a big step toward making this a more equitable society.

P.S. the GSE party and fundraiser at Hip & Humble Home in Red Bank was a great success. It was fun just “hanging out” with friends and sharing a little wine and cheese. Everyone wants to know what’s next? Keep tabs on your legislative representatives and continue to remind them about a planned veto override. Be patient!

I went to Shabbat services at my own Synagogue this past Friday. At the coffee and…. gathering following the prayer service, most folks came up with congratulatory words about Marriage Equality. It just reminds me that while we protect religious freedom, we  must also protect the religious freedom of those congregations who would like to celebrate gay marriages.

Hope you’re all enjoying a great President Day holiday. We are getting ready to hear the Governor’s Budget address scheduled for tomorrow at 2 p.m. So it will be on to the budget! Oh, and lest I forget: we have a couple of Supreme Court nominees to consider.


Comments (2)

  1. firstamend07

    On Thursday you voted to reduce the scope of S881,the Drug Court Bill,to a two year,two county meaningless initiative.

    What happened?

    Governor Christie himself made the very clear comment that he would not accept a scaled down ” pilot program” when he spoke in his State of the State address.

    Senator Lesniak and former Governor McGreevey took a lot of bows after the Governors address ,and then this!

    Something happened that made Senator Lesniak amend his Bill adn then get UNANIMOUS support in your Judiciary committee.

    I would love to hear an explanation.


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