07 Jan: Senator Lesniak Floor Remarks On Marriage Equality Act

TRENTON – Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, and a sponsor of the “Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act,” delivered the following floor remarks today before the vote on her bill. The bill was defeated by a vote of 14-20:

“I’m wearing my American flag tie today. I was inspired to wear it by Senator Bateman who wore his American flag tie when the Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony on the Marriage Equality Act. He wore it in memory of Pearl Harbor Day and the Americans who fought and died for our liberties and our civil rights. I commend Senator Bateman for recognizing and honoring our veterans.

06 Jan: Senate To Vote On Marriage Equality, Giving Undocumented Immigrants In-State Tuition, And Increasing Penalties For Jury Tampering Thursday

TRENTON – The full Senate will reconvene on Thursday, January 7, at 2 PM to consider a board list that includes S-1967, the “Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act,” better known as the “Marriage Equality” bill.

“Tomorrow’s vote will determine whether tens of thousands of New Jerseyans are able to live in peace and happiness, the same way that other New Jerseyans have always been permitted to live their lives,” said Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, a prime sponsor of the bill. “This vote is bigger than party, and it’s bigger than politics.”

“This vote is about the rights of gay couples from whom we heard heart-wrenching stories of pain inflicted, unknowingly and knowingly, as a result of our law which fails to secure for them the rights of marriage, in its import and in its application,” said Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, a prime sponsor of the bill. “To guarantee these couples those rights, as required by the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, and to relieve them of the fear and pain from being denied those rights, I urge my fellow lawmakers to vote yes for marriage equality.”

05 Jan: Senate Schedules Vote On Marriage Equality For Thursday

TRENTON – Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) today announced that the full Senate will consider bill S1967 – the “Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act”– at the voting session scheduled for this Thursday.

“Given the intensely personal nature of this issue, I think the people of this state deserve the right to a formal debate on the Senate floor. I’d like to commend both sides of this issue for their passionate advocacy thus far and the heartfelt testimony that we have heard.”

The Senate voting session is scheduled for 2 pm on Thursday, January 7. Further information on accommodations for the media and the general public will be released tomorrow.

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10 Dec: Weinberg Statement On Marriage Equality Act

TRENTON – Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), prime sponsor of the Marriage Equality Act (S1967), today issued the following statement:

“I have been working hard to achieve passage of my legislation granting full marriage rights to same-sex couples. While I understand that passions are running high on both sides of this issue, I would ask advocates to maintain the civil and courteous tone that has been established by legislators during these discussions. The overwhelming majority of advocates for and against my bill have focused their arguments on the merits of the legislation and presented them in the appropriate forums – contacting legislators through our district offices or speaking with us at the Statehouse. I thank you all for that.

09 Dec: Senators Weinberg & Lesniak Ask Senate President Codey To Hold The Marriage Equality Bill Until Assembly Has A Judiciary Hearing On The Bill

This afternoon, Senator Ray Lesniak and I requested that Senate President Richard J. Codey hold Senate Bill 1967. We also requested that Speaker Joseph Roberts schedule a meeting for the Assembly Judiciary Committee on A2978, popularly known as the Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act.

In light of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s historic passage of S1967, Senator Lesniak and I believe that the public needs another opportunity to engage legislators on this issue. Moreover, the Senate committee has substantially amended its version to include sweeping, additional protections for religious institutions. We believe that members of the public need to be afforded an additional opportunity to debate this new provision as well.

09 Dec: Codey Agrees To Postpone Marriage Equality Vote At Request Of Sponsors

TRENTON – At the request of the bill’s prime sponsors, Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) has agreed to postpone tomorrow’s scheduled vote on the Marriage Equality Act (S1967) until the Assembly Judiciary Committee has had time to hold a hearing on the bill.

“Senator Weinberg and Senator Lesniak have expressed their earnest desire to postpone tomorrow’s vote until there has been adequate time to vet the bill before the Assembly Judiciary Committee. I understand their desire to make sure this bill receives the thorough attention it deserves and therefore I have agreed to postpone tomorrow’s vote until further notice.”

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08 Dec: TUNE IN TOMORROW – Senator Lesniak On John Gambling Show To Talk Marriage Equality

TRENTON – Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, a sponsor of S-1967 – the “Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act” – will be a call-in guest on the John Gambling Show tomorrow on WOR NewsTalk Radio 710 HD, to talk about his marriage equality legislation and the upcoming vote in the full Senate on Thursday.

Senator Lesniak will be interviewed live for 10 minutes, and his segment is scheduled to air at 7:05 AM.

07 Dec: Weinberg Opening Statement On Moving Marriage Equality Act Legislation

TRENTON – Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) made the following statement before introducing S1967, the Marriage Equality Act. The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today by a vote of 7-6:

“Mr. Chairman, I would like to personally thank you for living up to your commitment by posting this bill today.

“I also want to thank all my colleagues for the care and consideration they’ve given to this important issue.