Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Marriage in NJ at risk

The momentum to legalize same sex marriages in New Jersey was set back by the election of an anti-gay republican governor in November. Now, there is almost no time left to pass a bill and have outgoing Gov Corzine sign it.
Time may be running out, but a bill that would legalize gay marriage in New Jersey isn't technically dead.

Advocates of gay marriage are pushing lawmakers to adopt the law before Jan. 19, when Republican Chris Christie becomes governor. He says he'd veto it. The current governor, Democrat Jon Corzine, says he'd sign it if lawmakers can get it to his desk in time.

Earlier this month, the state Senate canceled a vote on the issue when it became clear there was not enough support to pass it.
The issue was handed over to the state Assembly, which has not scheduled a hearing on it....

Supporters of gay marriage have a January 11th deadline -- the last day of this lame duck session of the Legislature. And a week later, Republican Chris Christie takes office.
Meanwhile the state assembly is blaming the state senate and vice versa.

Meanwhile, a group of faith leaders in New Jersey have written a letter demanding equality. From Blue Jersey:
During the historic 7 hours of testimony on marriage equality in December, most if not all of the testimony against reforming our laws on marriage were religious arguments. They said, in essence:
I believe this, so therefore, your rights should be limited, because my belief tradition tells me they should.
News coverage focused on those people (even though plenty clergy in favor showed up), who while they feel strongly, were trying to apply private beliefs to public civic questions, claiming equality would endanger their religious freedom. In fact the reverse is true; clergy who are accepting and ready to perform marriage for same-sex couples cannot do that now. And opponents are only a slice of where New Jersey's faith community is on marriage equality. A letter - with a far broader representation New Jersey's religious leaders - in strong support of marriage equality, and signed by 120 clergy from 19 faiths, was sent today to Senate President Dick Codey and Speaker Joe Roberts. The letter asks that both leaders put the marriage equality bill to a vote before their full respective houses in this legislative session, without precondition.
Click here for the text of the letter, and if you are in NJ, make some calls!

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