NOM BLOG

More than 1,000 People Flood New Jersey Statehouse for Marriage Debate

 

Clear proof that the people of New Jersey want to have their say on the issue:

Legislation to allow same-sex marriage in New Jersey cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee tonight after more than seven hours of emotional debate and testimony, setting the stage for a showdown in the full Senate.

... The 10:06 p.m. vote came after more than 1,000 people flooded the Statehouse today in an effort to sway lawmakers’ opinions on one of the most controversial bills of the decade.

... During the marathon hearing, opponents — including Orthodox Jews and Catholic officials — argued that same-sex marriage would damage religious freedom and is not needed because the state already permits civil unions. Supporters -- including civil rights leaders and legal experts -- said gay couples do not have equal rights without being allowed to marry.

... Josh Pruzanzsky, executive director of the Agudath of Israel of New Jersey, said same-sex marriage legislation "would endanger religious freedom, inhibit free speech and undermine the preferred status of marriage. It would convey a social message that is deeply offensive to many residents of the state of New Jersey and lead to further erosions in the traditional conception of family."

... It’s unclear if the measure has enough support to pass the entire Senate, where it could reach the floor for a vote as early as Thursday. -- Statehouse Bureau