Editorial: Standing up vs. letting down

The Times of Trenton (NJ)
January 13, 2010
During testimony on legalizing marriage equality in N.J. last month, Julian Bond, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, encapsulated the case in a nutshell: "Like race, our sexuality isn't a preference," he said. "It's immutable, unchangeable and the Constitution protects us all from discrimination." Yet many New Jersey state senators voted no on the basis of religious beliefs. In a society founded on the separation of church and state, however, that filter is as incongruous as it is divisive. [Link]

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NJ’s state Senate President voices regret in not having voted for marriage equality last week

philly.com
January 13, 2010

On his first day as state Senate president, Stephen M. Sweeney (D., Gloucester) said he regretted not voting days earlier on a bill to legalize the freedom to marry. Sweeney's decision drew harsh attention from critics who said he should have taken a stand one way or another - especially as an incoming legislative leader. [Link]


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Marriage equality advocates will push for change in statehouses as well as in courts

The Washington Post
January 8, 2010
After a stretch in which state legislatures emerged as key battlegrounds for the issue, the courts are now main venues on the horizon. Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a national marriage equality advocacy group, says that the freedom to marry is a social justice issue that will continue to have setbacks as well as advances - and that advocates will push for change in statehouses as well as in courts. [Link]

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New Jersey marriage equality bill: An unhappily unmarried mom weighs in

nj.com
January 8, 2010
Joan Garry writes about her frustration with the New Jersey freedom to marry vote yesterday, explaining that as a lesbian mom with a partner of 28 years she and her family, which includes three kids, do not receive the same rights and protections as straight families in New Jersey. "Our taxes underwrite benefits to residents of New Jersey. Benefits that don’t come our way." [Link]

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Marriage Equality Advocates Plan Return to Court after NJ Bill Fails

The Associated Press
January 8, 2010
Immediately following the 20-14 defeat of a New Jersey state Senate marriage equality bill on Thursday, LGBT equality advocates announced they would file a lawsuit seeking to get the state Supreme Court to recognize marriage equality. [Link]

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Op-Ed: N.J. marriage equality vote: A final taste of Democrats’ timid incompetence

The Star-Ledger (NJ)
January 8, 2010
Tom Moran writes that yesterday's marriage equality bill defeat was "a fitting finale to the Democratic decade in Trenton, one last taste of the incompetence that has left the state in such a mess...With Democrats in firm control of every lever of power in Trenton, they could not deliver, not by a long shot...The victims this time were the thousands of gay couples across this state, and their children, who just got a slap in the face." [Link]

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Column: Even defeat could benefit advocates of freedom to marry

The Bergen Record
January 8, 2010
Charles Stile explains that while marriage equality advocates may have been disappointed by yesterday's NJ senate vote, the process produced two strategic consolation prizes for their certain return to the court: consensus that the current civil union law simply isn't working, and failure of the legislative process to comply with a 2006 court order mandating equal legal rights and benefits for gay couples. [Link]

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New Jersey Senate Refuses to End Exclusion From Marriage, Flunking the Constitutional Command of Eq

Freedom to Marry
January 7, 2010


Lambda Legal
and Garden State Equality Going Back to Court to Seek
Freedom to Marry

Statement by Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry, following the New Jersey Senate’s failure to provide equal protection to same-sex couples in accordance with the unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court ruling of 2006:
Today the New Jersey Senate failed to do right by the New Jersey families harmed by exclusion from marriage, and the majority of the New Jersey public who support ending the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Legislators themselves, even opponents, have confirmed that the civil union law does not work to protect and support those families, and is no substitute for the freedom to marry. Freedom to Marry applauds Garden State Equality’s and Lambda Legal’s announcement that they are going back to court to fulfill the constitutional command of equality and secure the freedom to marry for committed couples in New Jersey. [Link]

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Watch NOW New Jersey Senate Debate Freedom to Marry Bill

New Jersey Senate
January 7, 2010

View the live feed of the New Jersey Senate session here (http://www.njn.net/newspublicaffairs/coverage/gaymarriagevote.html) as they prepare to discuss the pending freedom to marry bill.

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EDITORIAL: Less Than Two Weeks Left in NJ

The New York Times
January 7, 2010
The New York Times Editorial Board: "After weeks of maneuvering and delay, the New Jersey State Senate will finally vote on Thursday on whether to legalize marriage equality...Polls show that a majority of New Jersey’s citizens accept the idea of the freedom to marry." It is not too late for "all New Jersey legislators to show real leadership and stand up for the fundamental rights of New Jersey’s gay and lesbian citizens. If the Legislature does not act now, justice could be delayed for years." [Link]

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