A Superior Court Judge in Mercer County ruled that New Jersey officials must begin officiating same sex marriages by October 21, according to a report in The Star Ledger.
Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson granted an emergency request by six gay couples, ordering state officials to begin officiating same-sex marriages on Oct. 21.
“The ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey in a wide range of contexts,” she wrote.
For example, the judge said, “civil union partners who are federal employees living in New Jersey are ineligible for marital rights with regard to the federal pension system, all civil union partners who are employees working for businesses to which the Family and Medical Leave Act applies may not rely on its statutory protections for spouses, and civil union couples may not access the federal tax benefits that married couples enjoy.”
Jacobson was asked to square the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June striking down the Defense of Marriage Act with New Jersey’s own legal precedents.
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…
O’Scanlon was absent from the February 2012 vote because he was attending Senator Jennifer Beck’s wedding in Jamaica. Upon his return to New Jersey, he told triCityNews that he would have voted for the bill had he been present and that he would vote to override Christie’s veto if it ever comes up for a vote.
triCityNews is not published online. Publisher Dan Jacobson verified my recollection of O’Scanlon’s quotes on the phone this evening.
The issue is in the news again because marriage equality advocates have been in Trenton this week lobbying for an override of Christie’s veto before the end of the legislative session in January.
The Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act passed the Senate with a vote of 24-16 and the Assembly by 42-33, with 5 Assembly members, including O’Scanlon and Mary Pat Angelini not voting. An override requires a 2/3 affirmative vote. In order for an override to succeed, the bill needs three additional yes votes in the Senate and 12 yes votes in the Assembly. O’Scanlon and Angelini represent two of the needed yes votes. Republican Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi of Bergen County also didn’t vote in 2012. Schepisi said she would vote to override, leaving the bill needing 9 votes to pass in the Assembly.
If there is a override vote, it probably won’t occur until the “lame duck” session after the November election and before the new legislature takes office in January.
The two candidates competing for the Republican nomination to complete the late U. S. Senator Frank Lautenberg’s term favor same sex marriage being legal.
Reacting to the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan said,
“Today’s decision is the unfortunate result of an activist, liberal court that has little respect for the Constitution and our nation’s founding principles. While I believe government should not be in the business of marriage, it is not the Supreme Court’s responsibility to make that decision. Laws should be made by legislatures, not by unelected judges. To do so is a usurpation of our democratic tradition at the heart of this country’s founding.”
I wonder if Lonegan would have called the decision “unfortunate” if the Court ruled that the government should not be in the business of marriage.
UPDATE A few readers have mentioned that Lonegan’s statement does not make it clear that he favors marriage equality. Here it is: While I believe government should not be in the business of marriage ….
If government doesn’t regulate marriage and who can get married, than same sex couples can be married.
Dr. Alieta Eck said,
“While I personally believe that traditional marriage is an important institution to defend, the Supreme Court was correct in rejecting a federal attempt to define it. Marriage is a religious institution. There was a time when the general consensus agreed with organized religion, but those times have passed. We must never abandon the Constitution in guarding equal protection and free association under the law.”
The four candidates competing for the Democratic Senate nomination, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Congressman Frank Pallone, Congressman Rush Holt and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver also support marriage equality.
The Democratic and Republican nominations for Senate will be decided in special primaries to be held on August 13. The new senator will be elected in a special election to be held on October 16.
Partisan control preference of State Legislature narrows
Support for same-sex marriage grows strongly
New Jersey voters’ affections for Governor Chris Christie are not waning, according to a Quinnipiac Poll released this morning.
70% approve of the Christie’s job performance, including 48% of Democrats. 66% think he deserves to be reelected. Democrats narrowly side with reelecting the governor, 44%-43% with 13% unsure or not answering.
The 13% of unsure Democrats may not know who Barbara Buono is. “Corzine’s Budget Chair,” as Christie refers to the presumed Democratic gubernatorial nominee on the stump, is unknown by 79% of the electorate, including 79% of Democrats. Of the 20% who know of Buono, only half view her favorably. Buono’s name recognition ticked up 4 points since Q’s February poll when only half of the then 16% of voters viewed her favorably. If this trend continues through November, Buono will be known by 56% of the voters, 28% of whom will view her unfavorably.
If the election were held today, Christie would win, 60%-25%.
41% think Christie would make a good president. 44% think he would not make a good president. 15% are unsure. 46% would like to see him run for president in 2016, 47% would rather he did not.
On the question of which party should control the State Legislature, the Democrats still win, but the trend has been moving towards the Republican Party since November. Currently 43% favor Democratic control, 42% favor Republican control and 15% are not sure.
Support for same-sex marriage in New Jersey has grown strongly since last May when 53% told Quinnipiac they favored it and 42% opposed it. In today’s poll, 60% favor same-sex marriage and 30% oppose.
Back in 2004, Save Jerseyans, your Blogger-in-Chief was an undergraduate at Washington, D.C.’s Catholic University of America when a couple other friends and I interned at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
It was an amazing experience for a wide-eyed young conservative nerd to interact with so many distinguished politicians, media personalities and career activists in one place.
It was also a very different time in the Republican Party, and I discovered a healthy level of intellectual diversity on display from the right-of-center CPAC attendees. Libertarians, neocons, paleocons, fiscal conservatives and social conservatives from across the country mixed, drank, shared cabs, and downed hot dogs while discussing equally hot races in long book signing queques.
The common thread among the CPAC patrons? A healthy disdain for large, active, expensive and intrusive federal governance.
I am a pro-life person and opposed to abortion, except in order to save the life of the mother. Many times, my beliefs on social and moral issues are based on Orthodox Judaism, my religion, Orthodox Judaism is somewhat complex on the abortion issue, although far more pro-life than pro-choice. My pro-life views, however, are based upon my own study of the science of the issue. I believe that a fetus is life, and since I venerate life, I oppose abortion, except to save the life of the mother.
By the way, there have been over the years a multitude of statements, including from that great Torah sage, Gloria Allred, claiming that on the abortion issue, Judaism is pro-choice. While my political and moral beliefs on abortion are not based upon the Torah and the tenets of Orthodox Judaism, they are not inconsistent with them either. If somebody wants to read a short, concise summary of Orthodox Judaism and the abortion issue, I recommend the following page from the Aish HaTorah website:
My views on the same sex marriage issue are another matter.
Orthodox Judaism is vehemently anti-homosexuality. Yet I read something recently on the Chabad Lubavitch website which really hit home with me: “Torah law expressly forbids the specific act of male homosexuality. And we do know this: Torah law forbids bigotry; homophobia is prohibited.”
God is very precise about a great many things in the Old Testament including men not shaving, but he is troublingly vague about marriage.
Nowhere does he come out and say in those clear, precise tones adopted by today’s religious bigots, “biblical marriage is between one man and one woman.”
Let’s do a quick run-down…we have man + woman where bride proves her virginity or is stoned to death (Genesis 2:24); we have man + woman + concubines (Judges 19:1-30); we have man + woman + woman (the most common form of biblical marriage – polygyny); we have rapist + victim (Deuteronomy 22:28-29); we have son-less widow + closest male relative (Gen. 38:6-10); we have male soldier + prisoner of war (Numbers 31:1-18, Dueteronomy 21:11-14; we even have male slave + female slave (Exodus 21:4) and man + woman + woman’s female slave (Gen. 16:1-6, Jacob Gen. 30:4-5) because of course, slavery is also permitted in the Bible – it is not condemned and forbidden, as some southern bigot wishful-thinkers have reminded us.
So admittedly, we don’t have examples of male + male or female + female marriage in the Bible, but we also don’t have any place that says that Biblical marriage is man + woman. Obviously, there are a great many variations. In a strict sense, all these examples above are of biblical marriage and fundamentalist Christians should be fighting for all of them, not only your basic man + woman marriage
Haraldsson declares himself a Heathen and a progressive liberal on his twitter site. His Politicususa profile dubs him a social liberal with centrist political leanings. He has degrees in history and philosophy.
Haraldsson weakens his argument with his own anti-Christian and anti-Republican bigotry: (emphasis added)
God helps those who help themselves is actually attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and like loving the sinner but hating the sin, goes against biblical teachings. The whole self-reliance thing is very popular and chic among conservative Christian Republicans these days but the Old Testament teaches that when you harvest your crops you leave some “for the poor and the alien” (Leviticus 19:9-10). Can you imagine a Republican urging farmers to do this?
No, I can’t either. They won’t even help put out the flames when your house catches on fire. Can you imagine Jesus standing by and watching a house burn?
I know volunteer firefighters who happen to be Republicans. I’m offended for them by Haraldsson’s bigotry. Some of those Republican firefighters are also politicians who have run into burning homes before Newark’s Democratic Mayor, Cory Booker did that, tweeted about it and told the media it was a come to Jesus moment.
I also know quite a few Republicans who are very charitable, leaving large sums for the poor.
Let’s be charitable with Haraldsson and look beyond his bigorty. Are his biblical arguments valid? Is same sex marriage a violation of God’s Word?
Garden State Equality is out to convert New Jersey Chick-fil-A franchisees to their pro-gay marriage cause.
GSE President Steve Goldstein sent the following message to email list this morning:
Today, Friday, August 3, 2012 is Garden State Equality’s Dialogue Day with Chick-Fil-A. If you live or work in New Jersey, we’d like you to call the operator of your nearest Chick-Fil-A restaurant in New Jersey today, to ask him or her to meet with a local group of Garden State Equality members. We want the operators to see and hear in person how the national owners’ anti-LGBT advocacy hurts real people deeply – families, couples and children who yearn for equality. We ask you to call today even if you personally may not be able to join such a meeting.
1. Below please find a list of the 22 Chick-Fil-A stores across New Jersey with the store locations, phone numbers and individual operators’ names. Ask for the operator by name. If he or she isn’t there, you can ask to speak to the senior manager on duty.
2. When you call, say: “I’m a member of Garden State Equality and we want equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We know the national owners of Chick-Fil-A don’t believe in equality, but we hope you may be fair. We believe in talking and mutual respect. Are you willing to meet a group of us in the next few weeks?”
3. If the owner says no, express your pain, not anger, as you conclude the conversation quickly and respectfully. Respond: “I’m hurt you won’t meet us. I’ll let others know. I wish you well.” Please do not engage in hostility. We advocate equality in love.
4. If the owner says maybe, respond: “Then I’m going to call you back on Monday, is that okay?” Then please do call back on Monday.
5. If the owner says yes, respond: “That’s great. Before we set up a day and time, I’m going to talk to others to see their schedules. I’m going to call you back next week, is that okay?”
6. Then please email [email protected]your name and your phone number, the location below of the Chick-Fil-A you called – that’s important so we know which Chick-Fil-A you’re talking about – and the operator’s response, whether yes, no or maybe. If the operator said yes, we will call you and other Garden State Equality members in your area next week so we can coordinate schedules to do the meeting.
We understand that activists in other states are staging “kiss-ins” at Chick-Fil-A stores. We respect everyone who engages in the activism that inspires them. At Garden State Equality, we’re aiming for something beyond one day. We aim to start dialogues wherever we can. We want everyone to see the love and commitment of families with LGBT people – indeed, to see all people as real people. That, we believe, is the basis of winning equality everywhere.
Thank you all so much. Immediately below is the list of the 22 Chick-Fil-A stores in New Jersey with their phone numbers and names of the store operators. If the spirit moves you, please consider making a $13.00 donation today to Garden State Equality – that’s what it would cost a couple to eat a typical Chick-Fil-A meal. A $26.00 donation would represent the cost for a family of four. You can donate online at www.GardenStateEquality.org
Audubon, (856) 547-0815, operator Charles Bohs Cherry Hill, Marlton Pike, (856) 488-9117, operator Dave Curran Cherry Hill, Haddonfield Road, (856) 488-1600, operator Dave Curran Delran, (856) 764-0765, operator Sal Miliziano Deptford, Clements Bridge Road, (856) 853-0425, operator Doug Clark Deptford, Deptford Mall, (856) 848-7712, operator Christian McGrory Eatontown, (732) 542-2243, operator Jeff Bassett Edison, (732) 548-6024, operator Travis Biggs Egg Harbor, (609) 407-4900, operator Amy McCloy Galloway, the Stockton College Chick-Fil-A is closed for the summer. Please call the next closest store. Hamilton, (609) 581-7601, operator John Velarde Howell, (732) 730-9033, operator Ted Reim Marlton, (856) 985-4391, operator Brian Bowman Mount Laurel, Centerton Road, (856) 439-2696, operators Brian Bowman or Bob Mancini Mount Laurel, (856) 778-1900, Nixon Drive, operator Bob Mancini Paramus, (201) 967-9494, operator Ken Walsh Sewell, (856) 464-2277, operator Jeff Price Sicklerville, (856) 262-0002, operator Burley Clark Turnersville, (856) 228-2111, operator Burley Clark Vineland, (856) 327-4414, operator Phil Kelley Voorhees, (856) 772-2201, operator Zach Johnson Woodbridge, (732) 634-8981, operator Jim Strole
The Associated Press is reporting that gay rights activists are planning a ‘Kiss In’ today at Chick-fil-A restaurants throughout the country. Protestors of Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s stand for traditional marriage are being encouraged to go Chick-fil-A stores and kiss a fellow demonstrator of the same gender.
AP quotes one organizer, Carly McGehee of Dallas as saying she hopes the protest “helps LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) youth who feel isolated and are victims of bullying.”
Is isolation and bullying a problem for only gay youth? Are gay activists encouraging same sex marriages for youths?
Earlier this week The Asbury Park Press quoted Goldstein as saying that Garden State Equality does not support the ‘Kiss In.’ Rather, GSE would reach out to Chick-fil-A operators, as they are today. Goldstein said some of the operators are “in deep with us,” according to APP.
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.