CommunityPam's House Blend

Gays in NJ go to the middle of the bus

Jay from Trenton, NJ


The NJ Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the marriage equality case, finding that New Jersey’s State Constitution requires equal rights for all – but, left it to the legislature to decide what to call it.

You can read the NJ Supreme Court’s entire decision here (well, once the site traffic dies down), but the short version is: New Jersey has become the 4th state in the nation to recognize that same-sex couples are entitled to all the same rights of marriage (joining Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut), but has come short (so far) of becoming the 2nd state (after Massachusetts) to recognize full marriage equality. That decision is in the hands of the legislature.

The decision had been eagerly awaited by gay rights groups and progressive supporters of equality, many of whom will be (sortof) celebrating tonight at 7p in Montclair NJ.

From Garden State Equality:

Those who would view today’s Supreme Court ruling as a victory for same-sex couples are dead wrong. So help us God, New Jersey’s LGBTI community and our millions of straight allies will settle for nothing less than 100% marriage equality. Let decision makers from Morristown to Moorestown, from Maplewood to Maple Shade, recognize that fundamental fact right now.

So today, without missing a beat, Garden State Equality announces that Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo, the Assembly Speaker Pro Tem, joined by Assemblyman Brian Stack and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, will introduce marriage-equality legislation. Thousands of us will now hit the streets, the phones and the hallways to get this legislation passed.
As the late Lt. Laurel Hester and too many other cases across New Jersey have shown, half-steps short of marriage — like New Jersey’s domestic-partnership law and also civil union laws — don’t work in the real world. Hospitals and other employers have told domestic-partnered couples across New Jersey: We don’t care what the domestic partnership law says. You’re not married.
That’s why it wouldn’t matter if the legislature added all the rights in the world to the current law without calling it marriage. Marriage is the only currency of commitment the real world universally understands and accepts.
We’re not seeking marriage merely for some moral, ethereal victory. We’re seeking marriage because New Jersey has proven that marriage is the only way a gay civil rights law will ever work in the real world.

What’s next?

Garden State Equality will shortly rollout DOZENS OF MORE ACTIONS, including the next town meetings in our statewide town meeting series for marriage equality — a series attended by more than 10,000 New Jerseyans and two-thirds of the state legislature since January 2003, and credited with transforming grassroots activism.

As you’ve seen from Garden State Equality’s hundreds of events and thousands of e-mails over the past few years — a breathless pace of activity that’s not going to abate, so help us God — we never give up and we never give in to those who tell us no.

Hell no. Over our dead bodies will we settle for less than 100% marriage equality. The people of New Jersey wouldn’t want us to. According to the 2006 Zogby-Garden State Equality Poll, New Jersey favor
s marriage equality by 56% to 39%. Every other recent poll in New Jersey also shows a majority of voters favor marriage equality.

We will continue to exhaust our opponents until we win the marriage equality our families deserve. We will continue to outthink, outwork and outhustle the hatemongers every step of the way.

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jay lassiter

jay lassiter