Friday, February 17, 2012

Christie Vetoes Marriage Equality Bill

As expected, Governor Christie of New Jersey has vetoed the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act which was passed by both houses of the state legislature this week.  Supporters of the bills now have until January of 2014 to garner enough votes to override the governor's veto. 

The governor, who believes civil unions are an adequate concession to same-sex couples despite continued logistical and social evidence to the contrary, has suggested a public referendum on the matter.  While the majority of New Jersey voters do favor legalizing marriage equality, we agree with those in the vanguard of this fight that civil rights should not be left to a public vote. 

"While I am disappointed that Governor Christie has chosen to stand on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of fairness, and the wrong side of faith, I remain hopeful that Marriage Equality will soon be a reality in New Jersey," said the Rev. Jon M. Richardson, Integrity's Vice-President for National Affairs and the Priest-in-Charge at St. Paul's Church in Jersey City, "I am deeply grateful to all of the legislators and faith leaders who have stood up for progress while Governor Christie has chosen politics over fairness.  'Justice for all!' is an American value, a Christian value, and a Family value.  Though Governor Christie's values may be different, justice will win in the end."

While it comes as no surprise that Governor Christie made good on his promise to veto this bill, it is nonetheless disappointing.  As people of faith who believe God loves ALL loving, faithful relationships, we will continue to BELIEVE OUT LOUD and witness that belief to those around us until justice does indeed roll down like water and all couples in the state are afforded the same rights and responsibilities.  We will also go on striving to make our congregations places where such partnerships are blessed and nurtured.

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