Eyes of the nation will be on New Jersey tomorrow
As the same sex marriage bill goes to the New Jersey Senate floor tomorrow, Thursday, December 10, across the nation advocates for both sides of the debate will be viewing this as the next trial balloon in the controversial issue of Marriage Equality. See New Jersey Star Ledger video footage of Marriage Equality March on Statehouse in Trenton, NJ
North Jersey.com News"The momentum and the arc of history is pretty clear that we're moving forward. Marriage equality is something more and more people are in favor of," Gabel-Brett said. "Ten years ago, no same sex couple could get married anywhere, and as of Jan. 1, they could in five states."
Supporters on Tuesday celebrated a committee's approval of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, but opponents predicted a victory in the full Senate later this week would add momentum to their efforts around the country.
The same-sex marriage movement had been reeling following rejections by voters in California in 2008 and in Maine last month. Then the New York State Senate followed last week, rejecting a bill by a margin larger than observers on either side expected.
As a result, Monday's vote in the state Senate Judiciary Committee in Trenton was a reprieve for proponents, despite the opposition of Democratic Sens. Paul Sarlo of Wood-Ridge and John Girgenti of Hawthorne.
"Every civil rights struggle has its setbacks," said Leslie Gabel-Brett, education and public affairs director at Lambda Legal. "It's a long journey towards equality, and it never goes in a straight line."
She said proponents were working hard to win passage in the full Senate on Thursday, and hoped the Assembly would follow and make New Jersey the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
"If it passes, it will have a real impact because we haven't had too many passages," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. He's been trying to repeal the 1996 law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman and said states did not have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
"I look at this as inevitable. If you look at the polling, everyone under 35 says, 'What's the issue?' That tells you the way it's going eventually," Nadler said. "We'll get New York in the next couple years."
"The momentum and the arc of history is pretty clear that we're moving forward. Marriage equality is something more and more people are in favor of," Gabel-Brett said. "Ten years ago, no same sex couple could get married anywhere, and as of Jan. 1, they could in five states."