Op-Ed: New Jersey has brief chance to pass marriage equality legislation

NJ.com
November 5, 2009
Tom Moran: The political stars, for a few brief months, sit in alignment for a move to legalize the freedom to marry in New Jersey. And we could do it the right way — not with a court order, not with a gun to our head, but through a political process that expresses our common beliefs. Or we could choose the other option, and punt. [Link]

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In New Jersey, Full Steam Ahead

Gay City News
November 4, 2009
Faced with the defeat of Governor Jon Corzine, a Democrat who earlier this year pledged to sign marriage equality into law in 2009, advocates led by Garden State Equality (GSE) are vowing to go forward with a push in the State Legislature in Trenton during the customary lame-duck session later this year. The Democratic Senate majority leader’s office indicated that there is still interest in moving a bill this year. [Link]

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Americans United: The Religious Right’s Allies Win Public Offices In Virginia And New Jersey, Roll B

Americans United for Separation of Church and State
November 4, 2009
Election results in Virginia, New Jersey, New York and Maine serve as a reminder that the Religious Right remains an influential force in political life, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. [Link]

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What Happened and Why

FiveThirtyEight
November 4, 2009
Nate Silver discusses election results around the nation. He analyzes discrepancies between some Maine polling data on Question 1 and the measure's passage, attributing them to a possible "Bradley Effect" and an "urban-rural divide." [Link]

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Press Release from Freedom to Marry

Freedom to Marry
November 4, 2009

Narrow Defeat in Maine Won’t Stop Fight for the
Freedom to Marry

Work Continues in Maine as Other States Advance, Voters Likely Protecting Domestic Partnerships in Washington

Despite a strong grassroots effort in Maine, an attack campaign by anti-gay forces just barely overturned Maine ’s law supporting the freedom to marry for gay couples. Results are still coming in for Washington state where voters are likely to affirm domestic partnerships. As Washington state continues its conversation about the inequalities gay couples and their families face, the fight will continue for the freedom to marry in Maine, and across the country, as wins in three other states just this year along with growing national support for the freedom to marry clearly show momentum is on the side of fairness and equality.

“The recipe for ending injustice is: Give people the information they need over time, and stir their hearts. We will work harder, and learn better to dispel the distractions and fears that are keeping a smaller and smaller slice of Americans from treating others fairly,” said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry. “Each conversation, each day, each story, each win will bring America closer to equality in marriage.”

People from all walks of life -- faith leaders, labor unions, teachers, civil rights leaders and communities of color, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, public officials, local school boards and city councils, moms and dads, and businesses -- joined together with national, state and local LGBT organizations and individuals from around the country to work for the defeat of these discriminatory referenda.

In addition to the thousands of volunteers and hundreds of organizations that joined the fight for the freedom to marry, political leaders from Maine to Washington and across the United States such as President Barack Obama, Maine Governor John Baldacci, and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, spoke out against these discriminatory measures.

“My heart goes out today to the couples in Maine, who will have to wait a little longer to marry those they love and receive the protections their commitment deserves,” said Wolfson. “The campaigns in both Maine and Washington worked hard and families across each state stood up and told their stories in order to change hearts and minds.”

Freedom to Marry honors the leadership of the No on 1/Protect Maine Equality and Washington Families Standing Together campaigns, along with supporting organizations Equality Maine, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the Maine chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Equal Rights Washington.

While work continues in Maine and Washington , focus shifts to New York , New Jersey, and the District of Columbia where bills are currently being considered to end the exclusion of gay couples from marriage. [Link]

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Garden State Equality: Time to Focus on New Jersey

Statement from Steven Goldstein, Chair and CEO of Garden State Equality
November 4, 2009

The difference between last night and tonight in New Jersey’s battle for marriage equality is that we are one day closer to winning marriage equality in the current legislative session. For much of the year, Governor Corzine was trailing substantially in the polls. That has been the longest context in which we have strategized to win marriage equality.

Jon Corzine has been an spectacular Governor for the LGBT community, deeply committed to winning marriage equality, and he will still be Governor through mid-January. He will be working with the two staunchly pro-marriage equality leaders of the legislature, Senate President Dick Codey and Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts – two of the savviest public servants you could meet. They will be joined by Jon’s running mate, Senator Loretta Weinberg, New Jersey’s all-time champion of LGBT equality. We’re thrilled to have this all-star team on our side in these last months of the Governor’s term.

To members of the LGBT community who have focused on other states, it’s time to stop treating New Jersey like Rodney Dangerfield. It’s time to give New Jersey more respect, attention and yes, resources.

Our state is every bit as sexy as the other states: We are the home state of the National Organization for Marriage, and we need your help to beat NOM on its home turf. We are also a populous state, a huge prize for the movement. In fact, when New Jersey wins marriage equality, it will increase by 50 percent the number of Americans living in a jurisdiction with marriage equality. New Jersey has roughly as many residents as all the other marriage equality states combined.

The battles of 2009 in Maine, Washington and Kalamazoo are over. Iowa, thank God, seems secure. California is building steam for victory – and we will all be there for that battle. But right here and now, it’s New Jersey – urgently.

How can you help?

1. Watch the commercials we began airing on television tonight, election night. They are posted on Garden State Equality’s website, http://www.gardenstateequality.org/ in the TELEVISION COMMERCIALS BOX there.

2. Write about the commercials on your blogs, columns and articles. Specifically, please help us make the stars of the 60-second commercial, Marsha and Louise, nationally known. Marsha and Louise have one of the most heart-wrenching stories you’ll ever encounter. If you’re not moved by the commercial starring Marsha and Louise, heck, I don’t know what would move you.

3. Forward the commercials via YouTube to everyone in sight.

4. Help Garden State Equality keep the commercials on the air by donating at www.gardenstateequality.org/donate.html, and please include this link with a pitch in your articles.

5. Come to New Jersey asap if you’d like to join our campaign. If you’re an organization with staff to lend us, we would be grateful. You can call me directly on my cell, (917) 449-8918.

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Op-Ed: Six Tests for Equality and Fairness

The New York Times
November 1, 2009
Political battles this fall in six different parts of the country could have a profound impact on whether the United States will extend the promise of equal rights to those who are not allowed to marry simply because they are the same sex as their partner. [Link]

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Garden State Equality present: A Day of Action for Marri

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force/Garden State Equality
Sunday, October 18, 2009, 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm in New Brunswick
Legislative, grassroots and persuasive action. Participation by RSVP only - address provided upon RSVP. Free pizza, snacks and soda. RSVP by emailing Garden State Equality's field director Hannah Johnson at Johnson@GardenStateEquality.org with your name, town and phone number, or call Hannah at cell (920) 222-1878. [Link]

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Christie Wants to Block Freedom to Marry in NJ

cbs3.com
October 9, 2009

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie says if he wins next month, he'll do all he can to block the state from allowing the freedom to marry — possibly even pushing to amend the state constitution. [link]

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GOP Wants Public to Vote on Marriage in New Jersey

Newark Star-Ledger
September 29, 2009
Anti-gay activists in New Jersey are renewing their push for a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality in the state. Momentum is growing, however, among New Jersey Democrats to pass a marriage equality bill during the session immediately following the November general election. [Link]

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