Ever since this Fall, when a radical activist Judge imposed same-sex marriage on the people of New Jersey unilaterally, the news coming out of the Garden State's legislature has been a flurry of confusion and contradiction.
Several New Jersey politicians had, prior to the Judge's ruling, been planning to advance a legislative agenda to redefine marriage by overriding the Governor's earlier veto of a bill which they very disingenuously claimed would protect religious liberties and conscience (a pretense which many people saw through).
Since the ruling that forces same-sex 'marriages' to begin taking place in New Jersey, however, the same Senators have toyed with continuing their efforts to pass a legislative enactment of the same. Their motivations for this have been variously reported.
Some said the plans were a way of safeguarding the future of same-sex "marriage" in New Jersey from a future court's overruling. Others claimed their intent was (again) to protect religious freedoms.
Well, Paul Mulshine of the Star-Ledger called their bluff in an article on Sunday at NJ.com:
Although the bill contains a religious exemption that would prevent clergy from having to perform same-sex marriages, it does not contain a conscientious exemption that would exempt others.
An example of non-exempted parties given by Mulshine would be religious groups that operate banquet halls they rent out for weddings, but which would object to servicing a same-sex ceremony.
Mulshine reported on a Democrat Assemblyman in the state named Reed Gusciora who predicted failure for the Senate Republicans trying to expand the bill's religious exemptions:
Republicans... may want "a conscientious exemption for the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker" Gusciora said. But the Democrats won’t be adding that to the bill, he predicted.
Well, just a few days later, Mulshine's shrewd reporting was vindicated in a big way: the bill's sponsor dropped the legislation altogether because even the narrow religious exemptions it contains are too much for the same-sex marriage activists backing the liberals in New Jersey!
Here's Mulshine from his later article on the matter [emphasis added]:
When I wrote on Sunday about the same-sex marriage bill pending before the state Senate, I noted that the advocates of this sort of thing claim to support liberty but in fact want to destroy the liberty of others.
Boy, did I ever get that right!
It seems the sponsor has pulled the bill because [...] it doesn't go far enough in removing the rights of religious people and entities.
Mulshine quotes a Star-Ledger article focusing on the Democratic sponsor's decision:
"But many advocates said the legislation (S3109) would add religious restrictions that are not addressed by the court decision, originally concessions made to win votes for an earlier version of the legislation.
"'They don’t want any kind of religious exemption, so out of respect for that, I will (pull the bill),' [bill sponsor Loretta] Weinberg said. 'There’s a disparate group of people and it's hard to follow what they want, so I’m following Lambda Legal.'
Do go and check out the excellent reporting Mr. Mulshine has done on the matter.