Asbury Park Democrat Chairman Giuseppe Joe Grillo, Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn, Tommy DeSeno and Mayor John Moor. photo via facebook
The Asbury Park City Council, using government letterhead, made a declaration opposing a religious belief. Government can no more denounce a religious belief than they can endorse one, without violating the 1st Amendment Establishment Clause. They then went on an illegal bullying campaign against a Pastor. So caught up in a mob-induced false narrative of gossip, they ignored that the Pastor was bringing financial relief to the Westside black community, something all City Councils failed to do for 50 years.
In an uncharacteristic outburst, Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone confronted his disgraced colleague, John P. Curley for disparaging two County employees with a gay slur. “Deny you said it,” Arnone shouted at Curley during a public comment by David D’Amico, a representative of Garden State Equality.
Garden State Equality (GSE) is a civic group that supports equality for the LGBT community in New Jersey. Started in 2004 by Steven Goldstein, a college professor and activist, it is run today by 25 year old Christian Fuscarino. It’s powerful, with politicians and news media always at their events.
GSE has involved itself in protests of people, both business professionals and politicians, who they think are on the wrong side of LGBT equality.
For instance, GSE’s last protest was against Jack Kelly, an Ocean County Freeholder trying to get a cushy state job, seemingly to pad his pension. A dozen years ago he wanted to deny pension benefits to the lesbian partner of the dying Laurel Hester, a sheriff’s officer, stating it would “hurt the sanctity of marriage.” Before that, GSE protested Scott Garrett, a New Jersey Republican Congressman over a comment he denies making.
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie leaves late Thursday afternoon for his first out-of-state fundraising trip as chairman of the Republican Governors Association — and liberal groups have noticed. Christie first heads to Oklahoma to campaign for Gov.…
TRENTON — Under the din of a bustling election season, there’s a quiet movement afoot to make gay marriage a reality in New Jersey by the end of the year. Advocates have been working to convince state lawmakers — including a number of Republicans…
Mother Jones, an extreme left wing website that solicits tax deductiblecontributions to sustain itself, posted a series of videos of Mitt Romney speaking at a fundraiser in the Florida home of private equity manager Marc Leder this past May.
In the first video, Romney speaks candidly about the challenge he faces in the general election. He notes that Obama starts out with a significant advantage…the 47% of Americans who don’t pay taxes and , he says, think health care, food and housing should be provided to them as a government funded entitlement. Romney notes that his challenge is to win over the 5% of Independent voters who like Obama personally but are disappointed with his performance.
Is this “evil”?
Steven Goldstein, the CEO of another non-profit that solicits tax deductible contributions, the same sex marriage advocates Garden State Equality thinks so. I’d link you to Garden State Equality’s website, but Google says the site is dangerous to your computer. Really. On his facebook page Goldstein characterises Romney as evil. He says Romney’s remarks are “one of the most hateful speeches in U.S. Presidential candidate history.”
The religious exemptions clause of New York’s same sex marriage law was supposed to be the great compromise that broke down the barriers to gay couples marrying. Without the protections the clause provided to institutions that objected to same sex marriage on religious grounds, the law would not have passed New York’s legislature or been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo last year.
New Jersey’s Gay Rights community, which has a history of litigating against religious institutions that refused to allow their properties to be used for civil union ceremonies, embraced the religious exemptions clause and convinced the Democratic leadership of the New Jersey legislature to make same sex marriage the number one priority of the current legislative session. New Jersey’s legislature passed the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act in February. Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill and called for the issue to be decided by Constitutional Amendment via referendum. Despite polls indicating that New Jersey voters favor same sex marriage and that the favor Christie’s proposal to decide the issue via referendum, Garden State Equality and their allies in the legislature opposed a referendum, declaring that same sex marriage is a civil right that should not be decided by the majority at the ballot box. Privately, same sex marriage advocates have acknowledged that they expect to lose a referendum, despite the polls that indicate they would win.
New York is leading the way again.
The New York Post reports that a lesbian couple from Westchester is seeking to overturn the religious exemptions provision of New York’s same sex marriage law in federal court. “Jane Roe” and “Jane Doe,” a couple married on October 15, 2011, filed a class action suit in Manhattan because “Roe’s” employer, St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, refused to add “Doe” to the Catholic hospital’s medical benefits.
The class-action suit seeks an order declaring that both women are entitled to insurance coverage under federal law. It also says “thousands of legally married, same-sex couples” have been, or will be, denied benefits under similar policies administered by Empire, which is also named as a defendant.
The women are seeking an injunction ordering Blue Cross Blue Shield not to acquiesce to a company that wants to deny same-sex benefits because of religious beliefs, said Jeffrey Norton, their lawyer.
Could Gay Marriage Be An Issue In The U.S. Senate Race?
In an email to his membership this afternoon, Garden State Equality President Steven Goldstein claimed that the New Jersey State Legislature is close to overriding Governor Chris Christie’s veto of the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act:
This has already been the most productive year in our organization’s history. We passed marriage equality through both houses of the legislature, and quickly followed that up with the passage and signing into law of a new school bullying bill. In recent weeks, we’ve been laying the groundwork to achieve marriage equality through an override of Governor Christie’s veto. Since the legislature voted to pass marriage equality in February, we’ve won over another couple of legislators to our side. If you signed up to form an Override Club of your friends and neighbors in your legislative district to help us strategize and organize for marriage equality locally, we’ll be calling you soon.
Friends, we are closer to seeing marriage equality become law in New Jersey than we ever thought would be possible under a Governor opposed to marriage equality. I swear to God, if someone would have told me a couple of years ago – when we all assumed we’d have to wait until another Governor to win – that we could be this unbelievably close this soon, frankly I’d have told them they were crazy. Our momentum is stunning. Our dream is in our grasp. And we have you to thank. You never stopped believing. Together, we have never let up.
“It’s not happening,” said a GSE sympathiser who asked not to be identified, “Steve must be trying to gin up his troops or raise money. An override is less likely now than it was in February.”
In an email sent to his members in the 11th Legislative District this afternoon, Garden State Equality President Steve Goldstein apologized for endorsing Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini in last November’s election.
Angelini, who has been very supportive of the gay lobbying group was absent for the Assembly vote on the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act on Thursday. The bill passed 42-33 with two Democrats voting NO.
Angelini was on vacation, celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary in Jamaica, according to Goldstein’s email.
Goldstein said that he and two other GSE members met with the Assemblywoman on Friday, February 10th in an attempt to persuade her to cut her vacation short in order to be present of the vote. Angelini refused stating that the bill had the votes to pass anyway and in the unexpected event that it failed, it would be voted on again in a matter of weeks.
Goldstein, and “an avalanche of calls and emails” said it did not matter that the bill had enough votes to pass:
Dear members, as so many of you have told us through your avalance of calls and emails, it shouldn’t matter whether or not Mary Pat’s vote was needed. She is elected to vote in the legislature, and certainly elected to vote on the biggest issues of the day – perhaps the biggest issue of all time to so many in her district like you. If you are a public servant, there are absoluely times to have personal lives. Was this really one of them, especially when the legislature will be on break in a month?
Goldstein said that the group was “deeply pained” by Angelini’s absence.
Goldstein said he received more calls and emails filled with “deep pain and anger” than he received after Sean Kean’s 2009 vote against a similar bill and Kean’s “remarkably insensitive speech” about that vote. The calls and emails suggested that GSE extract a written promise from Angelini that she will vote to override Governor Christie’s veto and that she work on other Republican legislators to do the same.
Asked to comment, Angelini said she had not seen the email. MMM forwarded it to her. This post will be update if she comments.
In addition to the comments about Angelini, Goldstein praised Senator Jennifer Beck for her work in support of the gay marriage bill. He also promised to make up for GSE’s endorsement of Angelini to Vin Gopal, one of Angelini’s opponents last November, in his upcoming race against Marlboro Councilman Frank LaRocca for the Monmouth County Democratic Chairmanship.