Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Jersey Native Bruce Springsteen Speaks Out for Marriage Equality; Success of Marriage Bill Called Into Question

With his state's senate scheduled to vote on the New Jersey marriage equality bill Thursday, one of the most well-known names to come out of the Garden State, Bruce Springsteen, has spoken up in favor of civil rights for LGBT citizens.

On his website, "The Boss" wrote:
Like many of you who live in New Jersey, I've been following the progress of the marriage-equality legislation currently being considered in Trenton. I've long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same sex couples and fully agree with Governor Corzine when he writes that, "The marriage-equality issue should be recognized for what it truly is -- a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law." I couldn't agree more with that statement and urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now.
The New Jersey marriage equality bill is on thin ice. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Two days before the New Jersey Senate was scheduled to consider a bill to allow same-sex marriage, some area legislators were reticent yesterday to reveal how they would vote.

Dana Redd (D., Camden), who will resign her Senate seat next month to become mayor of Camden, has decided but isn't telling, she said at a Camden City Council meeting last night.

James Beach (D., Camden) hadn't made up his mind, an aide said. And Stephen Sweeney and Fred Madden (both D., Gloucester) did not respond to repeated calls seeking their positions on the issue.

The bill, known officially as the Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act, squeaked through the Judiciary Committee in a 7-6 vote Monday after nine hours of testimony and debate. The Senate will consider it tomorrow.

"It's an uphill fight, but there is a chance for victory," said sponsor Loretta Weinberg (D., Bergen).


No matter what the outcome, tomorrow's vote on the proposal will have national implications, Dworkin said.

"Each side will take what it can from victory or defeat and mobilize based on it," he said. "It just pushes everyone to the next battleground."
We already know that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been swamping the state with radio ads and more, urging for the senate to vote against the bill and encouraging anti-LGBT citizens to call for a public referendum. Garden State Equality has had their own ads airing.

On Tuesday, NOM issued a statement (see it on their website if you wish), telling the senate not to "mess with marriage" and claiming that they have spent $600,000 in the Garden State fighting LGBT rights.

Maggie Gallagher says, "New Jersey voters and politicians have given a great deal to Garden State Equality in the last few years, including full civil unions. Steven Goldstein has boasted that New Jersey is one of the best states for gay rights in the country, thanks to his organization's efforts. Why are they insisting on the right to redefine marriage, whether or not the people of New Jersey like it?"

ACTION: Go to Garden State Equality to find out how you can get involved!

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