NJ Senate Judiciary Committee vote on marriage equality

Timothy Kincaid

December 7th, 2009

UPDATE: (9:18)

With 25 opposed and 70 supporters, Sarlo thinks they’ve heard everything they need to hear so far and is asking only to speak if you have something truly new. Every Senator seems to agree; additional testimony will not change outcome of vote.

They’ve voted to “end debate”. Which is odd… that means that not only is testimony over, they will go straight to a vote.

Now to procedure:
(it’s a bit hard to hear)

Baroni’s amendment to protect religious associations is accepted as friendly; Weinberg the bills sponsor seconded the amendment.

Weinberg amends her own bill to remove the exemption for fees.

Amendment presented by Cardinale to have the bill go to the public before becoming effective. Motion to table amendment – motion is tabled (5 – 3) and will not be voted on.

Motion to move the bill (end discussion and amendments).

Senator Cardinale argues that people should write wills, advance directives, and all sorts of legal documents in order to take care of problems. “We don’t need to go to marriage to cure the problems of civil unions.”

He thinks that there are studies about “consequences” to children of same-sex marriage. He thinks there’s some study in France.

He believes that the use of the term marriage will promote a lifestyle. He doesn’t believe that all gay folks have chosen to be gay but some have chosen a path. This bill will encourage more to choose that path and he doesn’t think its good for society.

He argues that Corzine is legally still the governor but not morally empowered to make reaching changes. He’s lost his mandate.

Kyrillos, Cardinale, & Beck vote no. Bateman votes no but if the bill fails on Thursday he will join a bipartisan effort to try and fix the problems with civil unions.

Baroni says it’s all about balance – balancing religious protections against gay couples. Equal treatment at law is not too much to ask. He is the first NJ lawmaker to say this about marriage equality: “I vote yes”. The crowd applauds.

Sen. Weinberg applauds Sen. Sarlo (as have many others). She votes yes.

Sen. Stack can’t think of a better day. He votes yes.

Smith and Scutari left “yes” votes. This (with the Lesniak and Gill votes) now assures that this bill will pass.

Lesniak votes yes.

Sen. Gill lectures Bateman telling him that there’s no way to fix civil unions. Rather long windedly. No, very very long windedly. Now she’s talking about 3/5ths of a person and women’s right to vote.

As an African American and as a woman, this is a civil rights struggle. She knows the community that identifies with her wants her to take a difference stance, but she believes in a constitution.

She votes yes.

Sen. Girgenti commends everyone. But this bill “changes the fundamental definition” of marriage. It’s a “major cultural change” He votes “no”

Chairman Sarlo votes “no”.

UPDATE: (8:49)

Tom and Betty Wyka support bill. The bill can’t change their relationship one bit. They are involved in scouts and the Catholic Church.

There was never a choice about his heterosexuality.

The point is all about fear, it’s the language of fear. Be courageous.

Heidi Yehman (?) supports bill. She’s Baptist from a long line of Baptist preachers.

Senator Sarlo wants to bring the bill to a vote tonight so he’s encouraging folks to be brief. They aren’t.

UPDATE: (8:34)

Thomas Proehl – NY law school. Trustee bar association.

No one says that this law is working. And the hearing were fair.

Senator Cardinale just effectively called him a liar. WOW

And Cardinale is suggesting that there those with civil unions who don’t want them elevated to marriage. And we’re doing them a disservice.

Senator Gill apologizes to Proehl for him being called a liar.

Jeff Gardiner, neighbor of Senator Sarlo, on the board of Blue Jersey. Lived and worked in most every county.

If you don’t pass this, we’ll be back every year until we are equal.

Naomi Collier, attorney and mother.

In an interracial marriage. Its the same hatred and confusion then as now.

UPDATE: (8:02)

Some child is speaking. You can read her testimony here.

Some guy whose name I missed: Nothing is more damaging than not having a father in the home. Never ever has marriage been defined as other than a faithful union between a man and a woman.

Sodomy is not a sexual union! Wow, ranting homophobia. Do they think this is a winning argument? Yet this got applause.

Dr. King vehemently opposed same-sex rights. Huh?

Senator Cardinale was very impressed with an argument made in some article about why man-woman marriage is a gold standard. And this gold standard deserves preferential treatment.

The moral problem we have with civil unions is that is attempts to set up a similar relationship.

Oh wait. I think this is Brian Brown, from National Organization for Marriage. He’s an articulate speaker but his homophobia is not hidden.

We oppose the “march towards marriage” not the benefits. If given absolute power… yes, he would not repeal civil unions but open it up to “any two individuals” like his grandmother and himself.

Doug Tewen (?), a pastor. Several hundred people signed a petition.

More scripture quoting.

We didn’t create the term marriage so its important. It belongs to faith based belief groups (other than those whom they dislike, of course).

More John Adams quoting.

Laurel Lavaris (?) – Don’t discriminate against her by not allowing her to define marriage for the state.

Speaker from Garden State Family for Moral Values, some Jewish group. Reading quickly and mumbling.

Bill would spiritually decimate Jews, Christians and Muslims.

It’s harmful to religious to live in society that disagrees with them, I think.

Catholic Charities in Massachusetts lost its license to provide adoption. (completely untrue)

What would happen to a child turned over to two adult homosexuals? Think about it.

This isn’t tolerance, it’s barbarism. Barbarism!!

The next guy is boring and I don’t know what his name is. He’s rambling on about speeding. His “analogy” is completely nutty. He’s like the crazy uncle that has an opinion.

Next guy, didn’t get his name. He’s carrying bolts and nuts. Just in case we need a physical illustration of f*cking. You can’t hold marriage together with two nuts or two bolts.

Michael Donnely (?) from Hamilton NJ. It’s silly to pretend that assigning a word to the “condition of their living” is going to end prejudice. Only the call of God can do that.

You have a problem with God. But God is in the constitution.

Marriage is predefined. Thousands of years ago.

The people here don’t represent the entire state. It’s baloney to say you’re elected to do what is right.

The citizens of New Jersey want to vote.

UPDATE: (7:27)

Supportive ministers are done speaking. Now a bunch of “family” groups are speaking. As is the rule of thumb, any organization with the word “family” in their name oppose gay families and any group with “truth” in the name will speak anything but.

Rambling woman (Dr. Rain?)
refuses to discuss bill and just was asked three times to make a point. Her lies:

A lifestyle wrought with promiscuity and disease. Average age “much too young”. Over 100 partners. Marriage would raise the cost and jeopardize the financial health of the family.

Ocean Beach Methodist lost its tax exemption (simply not true).

Carolee Adams – Eagle Forum sings the praises of Tea Party groups. Insists that legislators should listen to the Tea Party protesters.

These folks are incapable of saying “gay”. They are compelled to say homoSEXual.

You should laminate your health power of attorney and carry it with you. It’s a simple solution.

Responding to a gay kid who was attacked for being gay: we know about those who are suicidal because they’ve lost the love of their life. Children are harassed for being over weight or having buck teeth.

Some Minuteman woman: equality means we all get to vote on this issue.

Loretta Yin a member of the 14th District for Traditional Marriage: not identifying the divine origin of marriage reveals an anti-religious bias. That’s just bat-poop crazy.

Amendments [provided to protect religious groups] don’t protect religious freedoms because these amendments can be changed.

The choice to behave in sexual conduct is something that can be controlled by government.

Man from same group. we know from prison studies that homosexuality is a learned behavior and a choice.

He goes on to ramble about how Jesus defined marriage by banning divorce. I don’t think that’s going to influence Senator Weinberg.

Len Deo, NJ Family Policy Counsel – oh wow, when I heard his voice I thought it was a woman, probably an ex-lesbian. Deo’s group was the one that Carrie Prejean was scheduled to speak at the night after her sex tapes were disclosed (Huckabee filled in).

Why were there not more complaints filed about violations of civil unions?

Gregory Quinlan – ah, here’s the ex-gay.

Regarding bigotry imposed on people of faith by homosexual community.

Crystal Dixon fired from university for anti-gay rant in newspaper. We are marginalizing people of faith.

Does this bill protect people like me?!? Quinlan, a PFOXer, is very aggressive.

The Assembly of God minister apparently left.

UPDATE: (6:54)

A whole host of ministers are speaking in support of marriage equality. As one asked, “why can’t I conduct the marriages that my church supports?”

Lutheran minister: This is an issue of religious liberty.

Unitarians, Methodists, Episcopalians, Friends (Quakers), and Jews also speaking in support.

UPDATE: (6:23)

Knights of Columbus opposes marriage equality. And although he’s pretending that he supports civil unions, all his arguments are blatantly homophobic. “Our children will be taught that homosexual lifestyle is as good as heterosexuals. They’ll teach that homosexuality is normal. And it’s NOT!”

You know, I’d believe these folks who come and say that Civil Unions are quite good enough… if they hadn’t opposed them when they came up.

I want to ask this guy – and the Bishop who spoke earlier – one question: Have there ever been, are there now, or will there ever be ANY instance in which the Catholic Church has supported ANY increase in ANY rights to ANY same-sex couples in ANY venue in ANY place at ANY time?

The KOC speaker also proved that I am an amazing seer. As I predicted, the determination by the court that Boissoin was entitled to his vile ranting would not stop anti-gays from using him as a martyr.

UPDATE: (6:01)

Episcopal Bishop endorses the bill: Marriage traditionally was not between a man and a woman. Rather it was a contract between two men, a father and a groom.

UPDATE: (5:55)

Amazing. This rabbi is defending slavery. Biblical slavery was benevolent, you see.

UPDATE: (5:47)

It bothers me when Jews speak of “Judeo-Christian values”. That is a term created by conservative Christians primarily to co-opt Jewish authority and to speak for Jews, usually contrary to what Jews would actually say. And this rabbi just also referred to God’s relationship with humanity as similar to a husband and wife. Is this guy a messianic Jew?

But in any case, these Jews are at least honest. They don’t just oppose to gay marriage, they oppose gay people entirely.

He speaks of people who want tolerance and then acceptance and then dominance followed by their intolerance. Gee, thanks, Rabbi. But I think you need not worry about gay dominance.

UPDATE: (5:41)

An organization of Orthodox Jews is now requesting that senators oppose marriage equality. Their spokesman is reading so quickly that his testimony is unintelligible but it seems that his primary objection is that allowing gay people to marry would mean that gay people are not inferior to heterosexuals.

We’ve already heard from a few rabbis that support equality.

UPDATE: (4:54)

Sorry for being down. We are getting a lot of traffic today.

Testimony has been going on for a while. Supporters have included Julian Bond of the NAACP, a Republican legislator from Vermont, and the State Bar. Opponents have included the Catholic Church and the New Jersey Family Policy Counsel.

One amendment to exempt religious societies has been presented and accepted by the bill’s proponent as “friendly”.

At present it appears that there are at least six yes votes including at least one Republican.

UPDATE: (2:08)

The Judiciary Committee consists of:

D – Sarlo, Paul A. – Chair
D – Girgenti, John A. – Vice-Chair
R – Baroni, Bill
R – Bateman, Christopher
R – Beck, Jennifer
R – Cardinale, Gerald
D – Gill, Nia H.
R – Kyrillos, Joseph M.
D – Lesniak, Raymond J.
D – Scutari, Nicholas P.
D – Smith, Bob
D – Stack, Brian P.
D – Weinberg, Loretta – chief sponsor of marriage equality in New Jersey

Democrats outnumber Republicans 8 to 5. However, party registration appears not to be an indicator of support for or opposition to marriage equality.

(1:53) Today the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on the bill to provide marriage equality to their state. Testimony The Committee was scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm. Supporters and opponents are on hand to rally committee members to their cause. (NJ.com)

More than a thousand supporters of gay marriage surrounded the Statehouse today before filing into the Statehouse Annex and making a beeline for the Senate Judiciary Committee for what is expected to be a long, contentious hearing.

Families with children who are gay said they came together to show how important the bill is for them.

Opponents of the measure also came out in droves. A group of Hasidic Jewish rabbis protesting the bill’s passage were gathering in the Statehouse halls. A car outside the Statehouse was adorned with posters that read “No to gay marriage” and urged people to call lawmakers.


December 7th, 2009

“It’s harmful to religious to live in society that disagrees with them, I think.”

The knock-out punch of the entire live-blog. Thanks Tim.


December 7th, 2009

He thinks that there are studies about “consequences” to children of same-sex marriage. He thinks there’s some study in France.

Jesus Christ why do we have to put up with such blithering retards in our way? There’s no same-sex marriage in France. Freaking idiot.

Timothy Kincaid

December 7th, 2009


yeah, yeah! cuz of that study.

PKV Private

April 19th, 2012

Hello there! This article couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I will send this information to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!

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