Lesniak Urges New York To Follow Through With Same Sex Marriage

Sponsor of New Jersey Marriage Equality Bill Sends Book, ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It? The Case for Same-Sex Marriage’ to New York State Lawmakers

TRENTON – State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, the sponsor of a bill which would have legalized same-sex marriage in New Jersey, said today that he supports efforts by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to seek a vote on marriage equality in the Empire State by June, and said that he’s willing to provide any information from New Jersey’s efforts to legalize same-sex marriage which might be helpful to the cause.

“I’m encouraged that progressive leaders like Governor Cuomo are pursuing marriage equality in their own home states, and I believe it’s just a matter of time before same-sex marriages are part of the ‘new normal’ in our society,” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “I support Governor Cuomo in pushing for a vote to legalize same-sex marriages in the Empire State, and stand ready to provide whatever support I can.”

Senator Lesniak recently shipped copies of his book, What’s Love Got to Do With It? The Case for Same-Sex Marriage, co-written with fellow New Jersey marriage equality sponsor, Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, to all 212 New York State lawmakers. Senator Lesniak said that he hopes that the lessons learned in New Jersey’s fight for civil rights for same-sex couples in New Jersey will be helpful to lawmakers across the Hudson River. The New Jersey bill was ultimately defeated in the State Senate early last year, but Senator Lesniak remains hopeful that equal rights for same-sex couples is an idea whose time will come, in New Jersey and across the nation.

“Through the many hours of hearings and Senate deliberations on marriage equality, we heard touching accounts of hope and hopelessness, of unconditional love and blind dismissal, and in some cases outright prejudice against same-sex couples,” said Senator Lesniak. “At the end of the day, we learned that New Jersey’s existing civil union law was an example of ‘separate, but not equal’ treatment for same-sex couples in committed relationships in the Garden State. Hopefully, the information we’ve gathered while trying to legalize same-sex marriages in New Jersey will be put to good use in support of efforts around the nation.”

Senator Lesniak said that the total cost of books and shipping – more than $2,000 – was picked up by his non-profit organization, The Road to Justice and Peace, a charitable organization which promotes humanitarianism in New Jersey and around the world.