Monday, October 26, 2009

Hundreds Protest New Jersey's Possible Marriage Equality Legislation

Washington D.C. New York. New Jersey.

What do all of these have in common? A strong possibility of marriage equality being legal by the end of the year. With all of the focus on Maine, Washington state and Kalamazoo, MI and their rights-stripping referendums, we sometimes forget that more work is being done elsewhere with good possible outcomes.

However, not everyone is liking it.

New Jersey, the last state with a civil union law that has not banned or legalized marriage equality, has a pretty LGBT-friendly legislature that's considering a marriage equality bill. Its current governor, Jon Corzine, who's facing a tight reelection race, is dedicated to signing the bill if it hits his desk. Currently, the plan is to pass the bill after the elections and Corzine will sign it during what could be his lame duck session.

This possibility was protested Sunday at the state's capital in Trenton by anti-marriage equality forces who are demanding that they get to vote on the issue.

The Star-Ledger reports:
Hundreds of people — holding signs that read "Let the people decide" and "Marriage = one man and one woman" — gathered in front of the Statehouse in Trenton today to protest gay marriage. The crowd applauded as politicians and representatives from the Catholic Church, as well as other religious groups, vowed to defeat gay marriage.

"That word ‘marriage’ means an awful lot to us, and we don’t want to see it radically redefined," said Len Deo of the New Jersey Family Policy Council. "You cannot redefine what you did not create."


But religious groups in the state are divided on the issue.

The Rev. Charlie Ortman of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Montclair last week said he and his church — along with 17 other religious groups across the state — actively support gay marriage.

"Religion has made such a mess of this matter that it’s religion that now must step into the fray so that religions can stand on the side of love rather than the side of discrimination," Ortman said.
Get involved! Help New Jersey pass marriage equality legislation. Go to Garden State Equality to find out how!

Image: Jennifer Brown/The Star-Ledger

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