CD10: Donald Payne Jr. thinks marriage equality needs “more study”

In an interview to be broadcast tonight, Donald Payne Jr., son of the late congressman and candidate for the CD10 Democratic nomination makes a pretty vanilla, non-statement statement when host Mike Schneider asks him about President Obama’s landmark endorsement of marriage equality yesterday.

Payne was interviewed for NJToday, which you can see at 6, 7:30 and 11pm tonight on NJTV. Here’s what Schneider says about Payne’s answer:

Payne said he is a strong supporter of Obama, but he wasn’t prepared to say he supports same-sex marriage, as Obama announced Wednesday. “We’re looking at it,” Payne said. “As I said I’ve been a supporter of equal rights for all people and I don’t see where that would be much of a problem moving forward.”

In a tweet today, Schneider said Payne thinks the issue requires “more study.”

More study? I hope his position changes, but I’d say for right now we wouldn’t be able to count on him as a voice in Congress for marriage equality.  

Comments (9)

  1. denniscmcgrath

    The only possible point of discussion is “Do we do it now, or sooner?”

  2. zi985

    With regard to providing basic, fundamental human rights and equality to people, one does not need to conduct “more study.”  For a Congressional candidate in a very progressive Congressional district to say this is astonishing and provides further support to Ron C. Rice and his efforts.  In the next 3.5 weeks until the June 5 election we need progressives campaigning hard for Ron Rice so that he works to advance our progressive ideals in Washington.  ‘Nuff said.  

  3. Bertin Lefkovic

    …Blue Jersey should convene an ad-hoc editorial board and screen primary election candidates for endorsement.  There can be no doubt that they would ask more direct and insightful questions on issues like these than one of AdubatoTV’s talking heads.

    A videotaped Q&A with each of the candidates in CD5, CD9, CD10, and LD16 would be a fascinating watch and could have more of an impact on the races than the endorsement that they would eventually produce.

    The fact of the matter is that all of the candidates in these races should be forced to face far tougher questions about their positions on our issues of concern than the media is currently asking and who better to ask them than the best minds of Blue Jersey?

  4. zi985

    I absolutely agree and I think far tougher questions need to be asked of all the candidates.

  5. Hi, everyone.  I taped a segment on NJTV today on President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality.  Before the show, I entered the green room at the same time Councilman Payne was on the monitor making this non-statement on marriage equality.  So when Councilman Payne left the studio, I decided to talk to him about it.

    He tried to clarify what he said on the show to sound as if he were somewhat pro-marriage equality – speaking to me in the most strained, roundabout terms to tell me what he thought I wanted to hear, but clearly uncomfortable using the words gay, LGBT or marriage.  They just couldn’t come out of his mouth.

    He told me “I support the right of every one to be happy and wouldn’t stand in the way.”  When I followed that up by telling him his dad supported marriage equality, Payne Jr. said:  “Then I’d have no problem with it either.”

    That’s as far as he would go.

    I love Ron C. Rice, as I know the rest of the Blue Jersey community does.  Amazing public servant, fantastic guy. I also love Nia Gill – she has been a compelling voice with few peers in political life in terms of her eloquence for the causes we believe in.  I understand anyone’s support for either Gill or Rice.  My experience with Payne Jr. today was a head-scratcher.  

  6. Babs NJSD

    Is obviously necessary to determine whether young My Payne is qualified to represent any portion of NJ in Congress.

    It’s not just LGBT issues it’s … a less than stellar”public service” resume, to put it mildly.  

  7. Alex

    …a lot of us just don’t have patience for anymore. Thank you for posting this account, Steven. It just points out that there are still people who, regardless of their personal feelings, try to please everybody and have it both ways. Well, a couple of days after the president himself finally came out clearly on this issue, it’s very hard to be patient with somebody who’s still fence-sitting. Some people really need to get with the program.

  8. Bertin Lefkovic

    …as well.  Unwilling or unable to choose between Nia Gill and Ron Rice and afraid to alienate Donald Payne, they are choosing to do nothing in this race, including but not limited to failing to encourage their members to learn more about Gill’s and Rice’s histories of staunch advocacy and strong positions in support of the LGBT and progressive communities’ issues of concern.

    While my personal position is that Gill’s failure to file for the special election disqualifies her from consideration and Rice has exhibited far more personal heroism through his advocacy, fighting both popular and unpopular fights on behalf of all of Newark’s and New Jersey’s residents, I recognize that for many LGBT and progressive organizations, choosing between Gill and Rice is still a hard choice to make.

    However, this cannot and should not be an excuse to disengage an organization’s membership from something as rare in NJ politics as a contested primary election, especially when that disengagement could very easily help to elect someone like Donald Payne, who might vote the right way on issues, but will never be a visible and vocal leader on them like Ron Rice (or Nia Gill for that matter).

    It is essential that LGBT and progressive organizations agree to forward e-mails to their members on behalf of the candidates who ask them to do so, making it clear that this is a courtesy to candidates who covet the support of their members.  Far too often, elected officials and party leaders want the members of the LGBT and progressive communities to support them with their money and their manpower, but they want them to do it in the quietest manner possible.  Our organizations should be jumping at the opportunity to help candidates and campaigns who are publicly coveting their support, even if they cannot go so far as endorsing a particular candidate and campaign.

    Time is running short.  If you are a member of a LGBT or progressive organization that has not encouraged you to educate yourself about and engage the primary election in CD10 (or any of the other primary elections taking place right now), please contact the leaders of these organizations and ask them to get involved in these races and if nothing else, serve as a conduit between the campaigns and their members.

    For the same reasons that we should not be patient with candidates for elected office who try to please everybody and have it both ways, we cannot tolerate LGBT and progressive organizations who are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the primary elections to be over, so that they can support whomever wins no matter how weak their support for their issues of concern might be.  They need to get with the program as well.

  9. denniscmcgrath

    501(c)3s cannot endorse nor participate in electioneering.

    501(c)4s can participate in ‘education’ but not endorsements or electioneering.

    I think “serving as a conduit” would not be permitted in either case.


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