We already know that Governor Chris Christie, true to his Republican heritage, has promised to veto the bill, should it pass both houses of the legislature. But that's no reason to not debate. In fact, a veto override might be possible.
This is an excellent start.
What should not be forgotten is New Jersey is under court order to ensure same-sex couples have equality, and it's been proven that their civil union law, in existence because of the state court, isn't cutting it.
Here's a sampling of comments from today's hearing -- remember it's still going on -- all via the Twitter #NJ4M stream.
You can listen as long as it's going on, here.
"The funeral director didn't understand what a civil union was" as Marcia and Louise tried to grieve their son's death."
Current speaker says we're breaking god's law and that all of us know in our hearts that
#LGBT equality is wrong and sinful.
New speaker confirms that the only argument against marriage equality is based in his views of the Bible.
"I'm here with my illegal husband of 21 years... and five of our six adopted children."
It would be nice to legalize our relationship after 21 years together. Holds up 6 legal birth certificates from the state.
"Yes, I have an agenda. I'm looking for respect for my relationship."
Their 17-year-old son now speaks about his "beautiful family" and wondering why his parents can't marry and are called inferior.
"I've always wondered why my parents can't get married when everyone else's can."
Now up is a rabbi speaking in support of
#MarriageEquality . "People of faith" is not monolithic; we disagree on this issue.
It's not up to the state to adjudicate between our religious viewpoints, but to provide civil equality for all its citizens.
A second rabbi now also speaking in support of
#MarriageEquality"scratching his head" why in 2012 we're even questioning this.
As a rabbi, my religious rights are undermined because I can't officiate a wedding for all my congregants.
Current speaker complaining that the legislature is working on civil rights and not on job creation. He's against equality.
Speaker: Voters have the right to decide on marriage equality.
Gloucester resident: While people sit in union halls w/ double-digit unemployment,
#jobs not marriage should be #1.
Speaker claims that
#NJequality would violate the Torah's principles.
This bill "just labeled a swine a cow so Jews will eat it."
Rabbi: "Homosexuals" as a whole don't want marriage equality, only an anti-semitic anti-circumsision subset of activists.
"How does a mother tell her children one was born with equal rights and the other was not?"
"Please vote on this bill as if it was your own son."
"He's my best friend." "He should have equal rights. I will fight for this 100%. And that is a fact."
Marriage & family therapist PhD says research shows that having two quality loving parents is what's important, not their gender.
Pastor: "Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, etc., all had more than one wife at a time."
Speaker: If NJ were to have civil marriage it would mean increased spending of $7.2 million additional tax revenue a year.
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