New Jersey State Senate Votes Down Marriage Equality Bill

despite the inspirational leadership of Garden State Equality and
elected leaders such as Governor Jon Corzine, the New Jersey State
Senate failed to pass a marriage equality bill by a vote of

Statement of Jennifer Chrisler,
Executive Director, Family
Equality Council

“Today’s State Senate
vote failed New Jersey’s families as well as the equality mandate
of the New Jersey Constitution. There are over 16,000 lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families in New Jersey, over a
quarter of which are raising thousands of children. For too long,
these families have endured second class status under a separate,
unequal, and unconstitutional civil union scheme that even
legislators who oppose marriage equality concede is a proven
failure. These families, and particularly the children in them,
need and deserve the recognition, respect, and security full
marriage equality provides.

Despite today’s vote, full
marriage equality is closer than ever before in New Jersey and it
will come. The New Jersey Supreme
Court unanimously ruled in 2006, in a case led by Lambda Legal,
that LGBT families must be treated equality under the New Jersey
Constitution. We look forward to supporting Lambda Legal, and
continuing to support Garden State Equality, as Lambda Legal goes
back to court to secure the full equality due to New Jersey’s
LGBT families.

The recent passage of
marriage equality in Washington, D.C. demonstrates that the
national momentum for full marriage equality remains on the side of
love and justice. The Family Equality Council, alongside the
families we support, will continue to push for full equality until
the days of partial rights, injustice, and inequality finally
become a relic of the past in New Jersey and across the

The Family Equality Council
is the leading national LGBT family advocacy organization and is a
proud partner of Garden State Equality.