Original post 11/20/09
New Jersey. What a roller coaster lately.
Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine said he'll sign a marriage equality bill if it hit his desk. The legislature looked willing and ready. But -
Corzine didn't win re-election and Republican and staunch LGBT opponent Chris Christie won. So now we're in the lame duck session and racing against the clock.
Immediately after elections, Garden State Equality releases ads in hopes of encouraging supporters to call their legislatures to vote in favor of marriage equality.
But there's some hurdles. State Sen. Paul Sarlo, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said at the beginning of the week that he didn't think the marriage bill would come up.
"Today, as I stand here, we do not have the votes in the Judiciary Committee," said Sarlo. "Until somebody can demonstrate that we have the votes in the Judiciary Committee, it will not be posted."
But according to the Star-Ledger, Sen. Steve Sweeney, who will soon take over as Senate President, is leaving the door open. Probably encouraged by yesterday's poll that showed a majority of New Jerseyans supporting marriage equality. (Though I usually fear a Bradley Effect when it comes to gay issues and polls, New Jersey has been consistent in its support.)
"I would like there to be more discussion about the economy, that’s all. Gay marriage will likely come up in lame duck. I expect it to come up," Sen. Sweeney said.
So we know we're possibly back up and running, at least with a better chance.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Loretta Weinberg, shares the Star-Ledger's frustration, whose editorial board says same-sex marriage supporters in the legislature need to grow a spine and "man up."
"I’ve campaigned all over the state, and based on my unscientific poll, people in New Jersey don’t care about other people’s marriages," Weinberg says. "I’ve never had a single person bring this up to me. And I’m talking about street fairs, restaurants, wherever. People care about their own marriages, and their ability to support their families."
ACTION: So the time is now folks, and Garden State Equality ain't messin' around.
Urgent! Join us: Garden State Equality is holding an urgent lobby day this Monday, November 23rd, beginning at 8:30am - Meet at our Trenton office across from the State House, 110 West State St. Please attend. No RSVP necessary.Food and drink will be supplied. Contact Garden State Equality Field Director Hannah Johnson at Johnson@GardenStateEquality.org with questions.
The legislature is back in session on Monday. We have just learned our anti-marriage equality opponents are doing a lobby day on Monday and are turning out in droves to try to intimidate legislators. If ever there was a time to take off from work to help make history, this is it.
Parking is available at the Trenton Marriott Parking lot at 1 West LaFayette Street at the corner of West LaFayette Street and South Warren Street. If needed, Garden State Equality will reimburse you for the parking. Don't go looking for free street parking in Trenton: it's impossible to find and/or you'll have to feed a meter constantly. For a map to walk from the Trenton Marriott parking lot at 1 West LaFayette Street to Garden State Equality's office at 110 West State Street, enter the location at Map Quest.