Monday, November 9, 2009

why marriage equality matters in new jersey

All year, there has been rumors that New Jersey could be the next state to pass marriage equality. Governor Corzine already said that he'd sign a bill in favor of marriage equality. Now the clock is ticking and we need to get this done fast because Chris Christie opposes marriage equality just like his party's platform.

People often wonder why I am fighting for marriage equality. As a straight woman, I have no dog in this fight, and many would sit back as a spectator. Many don't even care until legislation affects them personally. This does not affect me personally. Sure I'd like to get married someday (not sure if that will happen though-- I'm not exactly getting any younger), but no matter where I go, it will be legal for me to get married. That's not the same for my gay friends or family members, and I'm ashamed of it. Why should I enjoy rights that others can't? There's something fundamentally wrong with it.

People argue that marriage equality is wrong because it redefines the "traditional marriage" of one man and one woman. Yes those marriages have been around for centuries, even millenia. However in the past (and present), teenage girls are forced to marry men more than twice their age, polygamy is still practiced (even right here in the United States). And many churches have been the most vocal opponents of marriage equality, and often fund the campaigns against it. Funny how the Mormon church opposes marriage equality, yet it's fundamentalist sect practices polygamy. All the time, churches will deny a couple the right to get married, and IMO that's perfectly fine. City Hall should not have the right to deny two consenting adults the right to get married.

Maine also let me down last Tuesday by voting down marriage equality. The bright spot is that younger voters (under 35) tend to overwhelmingly support marriage equality, and over time the older voters (who oppose it) will die off. The problem is that the younger voters don't often get to the polls. I really don't want marriage equality on the ballot in New Jersey-- this is why we must pass it before Corzine leaves office.

If you're willing to join me in this fight, it needs to be done like yesterday. There are three major things that you can do to help. Unfortunately some only apply to New Jersey residents.
1) Send a handwritten letter to your two assembly members and one (state) senator telling him/her why you support marriage equality.
2) Call your assembly members and state senator on a daily basis urging him/her to vote for marriage equality.
3) Tell your friends and family in New Jersey to call and/or write their legislators about marriage equality.
4) Volunteer-- Garden State Equality needs your help with phone banks, office work, and postcarding to make marriage equality a relaity in New Jersey. If you're in my area, the office is located in Asbury Park, and could really use your help.
5) If you're on Facebook, become a fan of Garden State Equality (no matter where you live) and if you're on Twitter, follow Garden State Equality @GSEquality
6) Put your money where your mouth is. Garden State Equality's trying to put ads on TV and the radio, and currently can't put that many on due to funding. They need your help. Donate online at


Burr Deming said...

I also have fair and unbalanced views that parallel your own. Keep posting. Best wishes.

djpat2 said...

How so very true. Why are people so threatened by gay marriage? Will this affect their marriage? How so? They deserve the same benefits that all couples do. We have to get this passed pronto before Christie gets in. He is a lost cause.