Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg
Congratulations, Mr. President. I, like many Americans, am proud of your decision to put aside election-year political calculations and to make clear your own personal beliefs.
Like many of my colleagues in New Jersey and millions of Americans, the President’s ‘evolution’ on marriage equality has ended in the same place and with the same conclusion: Recognizing the rights of all couples to live and love as they wish is simply the right thing.
I wish the President’s announcement today could magically end the debate, but it will not. Those of us who support marriage equality must continue to press on and to help others complete their own evolutionary journeys on this issue. Thankfully, though, we now have one less hurdle to overcome.
Senator Frank Lautenberg, a co-sponsor of legislation to repeal DOMA:
President Obama’s support for marriage equality marks an important moment for civil rights in America. We simply can not treat same sex couples as second-class citizens in our country. Marriage equality is one of the most significant civil rights battles of our time and is critical to guaranteeing the equal protection under the law promised to every American in the Constitution. The President’s support for marriage equality should inspire Congress, Governors and state legislatures to advance civil rights for all Americans.
Senator Bob Menendez (via Facebook):
I applaud President Obama for joining all of us who support marriage equality.
(and then a few hours later, this):
Energy and persistence conquer all things.” -Benjamin Franklin
Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald:
I applaud President Obama for announcing he supports marriage equality for same-sex couples. As I said during debate the floor of our historic Assembly vote approving marriage equality, our Constitution means every single one of our citizens has the fundamental right and expectation to be treated equally under the law. That is why I strongly support marriage equality, and that is why I am proud of President Obama’s announcement today. In past statements opposing marriage equality, Governor Christie has noted his feet were ‘firmly planted right next to President Obama’ on this issue. Today, that is no longer true. The reality is, there is only one person standing in the way of full marriage equality in New Jersey–Governor Christie. It’s time for the Governor to stop punting this issue to a referendum and do what’s right. It’s time for the Governor to stop obstructing equality and support full equality under the law for all New Jersey families.
Senate President Steve Sweeney:
I haven’t seen a fresh quote come in. Meanwhile, this is what he said a few months ago. Still relevant; it was a turning point:
Seventeen months ago, I stood up here and made the biggest mistake of my legislative career. I made a decision based purely on political calculations not to vote in support of marriage equality. I failed in my responsibility as majority leader of this house of government to actually lead. I was wrong…
Assemblyman John McKeon:
President Obama’s declaration of support for same-sex marriage is a profile in courage and marks a historic breakthrough in our evolution as a nation; We believe that his decision will help end the inequality, and move us closer to granting equal civil rights to countless American families; We commend the moral courage and extraordinary leadership demonstrated by President Obama in his decision to do the right thing; We hope it is his destiny to be the first U.S. president to sign a law granting marriage equality to same-sex couples and that his decision will inspire Gov. Christie to sign S-1\ A-1, the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act, of which I am a proud sponsor.