In 2012, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie vetoed a same-sex marriage bill that had passed both chambers of the state legislature. A focused and well organized campaign has been underway since then, gaining steam — and supporters. Now, New Jersey United for Marriage, a broad coalition of state and national LGBT civil rights organizations, is making real headway.
Three more members of the New Jersey Assembly have agreed to vote to override Christie’s infamous veto. That would leave nine more votes needed to successfully override the veto, but just a few months left too. Supporters will need to come up with those votes before the end of this legislative session, January 10, 2014.
NJ United for Marriage, which includes Garden State Equality, the American Civil Liberties Union of NJ, American Unity Fund, Freedom to Marry, the Gill Action Fund, the Human Rights Campaign, and Lambda Legal, among other groups, points to yesterday’s Times of Trenton article:
The Republican, freshman Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi of River Vale, who didnâ€™t vote earlier, now says sheâ€™ll support the override effort.
For her, the deciding factor was the U.S. Supreme Courtâ€™s June decision overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act. With DOMA dead, federal agencies can grant benefits to same-sex married couples in the 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, which allow such marriages. At one stroke, the justices ended any pretense that New Jerseyâ€™s law authorizing civil unions affords the equal rights and privileges to same-sex couples to which the New Jersey Supreme Court has said theyâ€™re entitled.
On the Democratic side, the two Assembly members who werenâ€™t available for the original vote, Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton) and Gabriela Mosquera (D-Laurel Springs), also intend to back the override, although DeAngelo said heâ€™ll listen to constituents on both sides of the issue first.
â€œIâ€™m for equal treatment,â€ he told me. Carol Murphy, a spokeswoman for Mosquera, said her boss â€œsupports same-sex marriage and will vote for the override.â€
The two other Republicans who didnâ€™t vote in 2012, Declan Oâ€™Scanlon (R-Little Silver) and Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean), havenâ€™t committed themselves, but United for Marriage members think thereâ€™s a good chance the two will end up on their side.
Image: Sue Fulton addresses the crowd in Asbury Park, July 24, 2013. Photo by Garden State Equality via Facebook.
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Republicans Force Another Biden Nominee – Another Woman – to Withdraw, After Calling Her a ‘Communist’
Move Exposes Large Number of Women GOP Refuses to Confirm
Yet another of President Joe Biden‘s nominees – and yet another woman opposed by Senate Republicans – has been forced to withdraw her name from consideration for a top job in the Biden administration. Unsurprisingly, Senate Republicans are holding up a huge number of nominations, and unsurprisingly, a huge number of them are women.
“Saule Omarova, a Cornell Law professor whom President Biden picked for a key banking regulator job, is withdrawing from consideration for the post. Bank lobbyists and Republicans painted her as a communist because she was born in the Soviet Union,” The New York Times reported Tuesday afternoon via tweet.
Omarova is not a communist, as she was forced to tell Republican U.S. Senator John Kennedy, who told her during her confirmation hearing last month, “I don’t know whether to call you professor or comrade.”
Neo-McCarthyism in real time: Sen. Kennedy (R-LA) questions whether Biden’s pick for comptroller, Dr. Omarova, is a communist.
Her response is worth watching: pic.twitter.com/AeWNLf15Fb
— The Recount (@therecount) November 21, 2021
The decision to pull Omarova’s nomination has exposed the Republicans’ tactics of slow-walking and worse, placing anonymous holds on countless Biden nominees.
President Biden is facing a huge hole in his administration, in large part thanks to Republicans.
According to the non-partisan Partnership for Public Service, which tracks 803 federal government executive branch positions requiring Senate confirmation, 235 nominations – nearly three in ten (29%) – are sitting in the Senate awaiting confirmation. Just 194 have been confirmed (164 positions have no nominees at all.)
Compared to his last three predecessors, President Biden is not getting the support he needs in the 50-50 Senate, as this chart from the Partnership for Public Service shows:
Any U.S. Senator can secretly place an anonymous hold on any presidential nominee, for any length of time, and Republicans – reportedly often Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley on Minnesota – have been taking extreme advantage of that rule.
Half of all of President Biden’s approved nominees have been women, but other women have been forced to withdraw, most notably Neera Tanden, whom President Biden nominated to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Tanden and Omarova are far from the only women whose nominations may never get a vote.
“At least 21 women for top positions” in just the State Dept., The Hill reported last month, “including 16 ambassadors, four assistant secretary positions and the nominee for Director General of the Foreign Service — are having their confirmations stalled by holds.”
Just today Bloomberg Government reported Senate Republicans have placed a “blockade” on “dozens of key defense and foreign policy positions.”
Omarova was the victim of a concerted red-baiting effort by Republicans, lobbyists, and right wing media.
“Some lobbyists, including the incoming chairman of a group representing community bankers and the chief executive of another group that focuses on big banks,” The New York Times observes, “also shared a Wall Street Journal editorial suggesting that Ms. Omarova’s Soviet childhood meant that she could not be trusted.”
Jan. 6 Committee Files Subpoenas for Phone Records of Over 100 People Including Many Trump Associates
The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has officially issued subpoenas to wireless companies for the phone records of over 100 people, a “substantial” number of them Trump associates, in an effort to piece together the actions of Donald Trump and his inner circle on the day of the violent insurrection.
The records do not include actual voice or text content, but rather who called or texted whom, when, for how long, CNN reports, and possibly from where.
Included in the massive list is Mark Meadows, the former Trump White House chief of staff.
The data should give the Committee “the ability to draw a web of communications before, during and after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.”
CNN adds that one subpoena it reviewed “requests ‘all call, message, Internet Protocol and data connection detail records associated with the phone number’ from November 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. The letter also asks for information related to phone numbers, IP addresses and devices that the account in question has communicated with.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Watch: MAGA Congressional Candidate Calls for All Laws ‘Contrary to God’s Word’ to Be Overturned
Mark Burns, a MAGA pastor who is running for Congress in South Carolina, is an unabashed Christian nationalist who openly declares that “any policy that is contrary to the word of God” needs to be made illegal.
MAGA pastor Mark Burns, who is running for Congress in South Carolina, says that “this is a Christian nation and any policy that is contrary to the word of God, we need to remove it from mainstream America and make it illegal.” pic.twitter.com/4j8oxoavhg
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) November 18, 2021
Burns appeared on the Real America’s Voice program “The Water Cooler” Monday, where he proclaimed that “the gospel of Jesus Christ should be [at] the center of American politics.” When asked by host David Brody what he meant by that, Burns declared that “any law that is against the word of God” must be overturned.
“Laws that are contrary to God’s word that are actively legal or laws today need to be overturned,” Burns said. “Any law that is against the word of God, that is clearly against what God has said in his word—in a nation that is a Christian nation, a nation that has the majority of citizens who actively believe that Jesus is the Messiah, that he is coming back again with omnipotent power in his hands—if it’s against the word of God and it’s actively a law today, then it should be overturned. We should have a moral compass, and right now in America, we’re losing that moral compass. The liberal left is slowly [chipping] away.”
Burns was a proponent of the movement to keep former President Donald Trump in power. He has made numerous calls for war, including on the eve of the Capitol insurrection when he riled up Trump loyalists at a Stop the Steal rally by telling them, “We’re ready to do war!”
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is published here by permission.
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