Whither marriage equality in New Jersey?

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Mary Wilson of the 1960s Supremes

New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15) in 2010New Jersey’s only openly gay lawmaker, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15), introduced a marriage equality bill in the New Jersey Assembly, and posed the question, “They’re talking about it in New York, why aren’t we talking about it in New Jersey?” Gusciora went on to say, “I think it’s important especially when you look at what’s going on in New York, that they’re having a discussion of marriage equality through the legislative process.”

The bill is expected to go nowhere in the New Jersey state legislature due to stiff opposition from Republican Gov. Chris Christie. He has said unequivocally that he opposes gay marriage. Just recently he told Piers Morgan on CNN, “I believe marriage is an institution between one man and one woman, I think it’s special and unique in society, and I think we can have civil unions that can help to give the same type of legal rights to same-sex couples that marriage gives them.” Christie then said, “But I just think marriage has a special connotation. And I couldn’t see myself changing my mind on that.”

Approximately a year and a half ago, lawmakers in Trenton rejected a marriage equality bill in New Jersey. Though New Jersey allows for civil unions, such unions are still not equal to marriage, say gay equality activists, and they say civil unions do not offer the same benefits that full marriage could offer to New Jersey residents.

New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15) in 2010New Jersey’s only openly gay lawmaker, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15), introduced a marriage equality bill in the New Jersey Assembly, and posed the question, “They’re talking about it in New York, why aren’t we talking about it in New Jersey?” Gusciora went on to say, “I think it’s important especially when you look at what’s going on in New York, that they’re having a discussion of marriage equality through the legislative process.”