The Star-Ledger posted the dismal headline today regarding the NJ marriage equality bill: A surprisingly dark day for gay rights in New Jersey. Steve Goldstein from Garden State Equality sums it up pretty well, saying
Many of us in the progressive movement just want to throw up…Democrats put out one hand out to ask for money, and with the other they stab you in the back.
Talk is that the combined reelection loss of Gov. Corzine (D), the lack of momentum from ME and NY (although NY legislative leaders promise to vote by end of year) and a big power play by the Roman Catholic Church has resulted in legislative “leadership” spouting off unbelievably craven nonsense
Finally, there were discouraging noises from Sen. Steve Sweeney, a South Jersey Democrat who will take over as Senate president in January, replacing Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex).
Sweeney suggested that the legislature should leave this issue aside for now, and focus instead on the economic crisis. It was pure political nonsense, because the legislature is not even considering major economic bills.
A great opinion piece on Sweeney’s craven lie here. Apparently, the votes are there if legislators are allowed to vote their consciences.
Meanwhile, the Washington D.C. Council is expected to pass marriage equality legislation tomorrow. If that happens, it’ll be interesting to see whether the New Jersey legislature rallies behind the new bellwether or whether they magically neglect to acknowledge that there still is in fact plenty of momentum for equality. Don’t forget that Washington State voters just ratified full domestic partnerships at the ballot box.
Garden State Equality has another rally planned for this Thursday in Trenton demanding that the marriage equality bill is posted this legislative session. “Just show up at 110 W. State Street, Trenton NJ 08608, beginning at 8am, and lend your voice to the chorus of people who respect both religious freedom and equality under the law.” An email from GSE stated that legislators asked GSA to stage this rally, so perhaps there is yet hope. Contact your legislators and let them know that not voting on the bill is not an option, that legislators who choose to turn their back on civil equality will get no help from the Americans they are betraying when reelection rolls around.