TRENTON – Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, and a long-time advocate for legalizing same-sex marriage in New Jersey, issued the following statement today regarding the unanimous decision last week by the Iowa Supreme Court to allow for legal same-sex marriages in that state:
“Particularly as New Jerseyans of the Jewish and Christian faiths prepare to celebrate the holidays of Passover and Easter – holidays which represent freedom and rebirth, respectively – I think it’s appropriate to look at the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage in that context.
“For far too long, governments across the nation have denied committed, loving same-sex couples the same freedoms and rights reserved for heterosexual couples to express their love and fidelity through the ceremony of marriage. While some states, including New Jersey, have taken half-steps – in the form of civil unions – to correct this social injustice, these half-measures have failed to offer the same protections and rights guaranteed through true marriage.
“As public opinion continues to evolve from the dark days when homosexuals were forced to hide their sexual orientation from a fearful and intolerant public, we stand on the precipice of a rebirth of true civil rights for all people. As more and more states take a stand in defense of marriage – and I truly believe that expanding the definition strengthens the institution of marriage, as opposed to weakening it – we’re gaining momentum to true, nationwide marriage equality that does not judge the value of love between two people, be they heterosexual or homosexual.
“I look forward to the day when New Jersey joins with our brothers and sisters in Iowa and the other states in the nation that have already said that government has no place in dictating what’s acceptable in recognizing the love and devotion between two people. The era of ‘separate and unequal’ treatment for committed, loving same-sex couples is coming to a close, and I hope New Jersey will be the next to strike a blow for marriage equality and end a two-tiered marriage system that simply doesn’t work.”