One of New Jersey's Most Ambitious Grassroots Efforts of Recent Years Begins Monday, January 13th and Continues Throughout the Year

Date

Date: 
01/13/2003

55 Statewide and Local Organizations Unite to Sponsor 10 Town Meetings Across the State:

"Supporting All Roads to Justice: Marriage Equality in the Courts, Domestic Partnership in the Legislature."

The 10 town meetings, twice a month from January through May 2003, begin tonight, Monday night, January 13th in Morristown

Organizing series sponsors include Lambda Legal, the ACLU of New Jersey and the National Organization for Women-New Jersey

MONDAY, January 13, 2003 -- Six months after seven lesbian and gay couples in New Jersey sued in state court for the right to marry, and as state legislators prepare domestic partnership legislation that would encompass a range of nontraditional and intergenerational families, 55 organizations are sponsoring 10 town meetings across the state to support both marriage equality and domestic partnership recognition. The first town meeting, serving Morris County, is tonight at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship at 21 Normandy Heights Road.

The schedule of dates, times and sites of the series - “SUPPORTING ALL ROADS TO JUSTICE: Marriage Equality in the Courts, Domestic Partnership in the Legislature” - is at the end of this release. The list of 55 sponsoring organizations is also at the end of this release. In order, the town meeting locations are Morristown, Newark, Trenton, Jersey City, Teaneck, Maplewood, Haddonfield, Summit, Cape May and Asbury Park.

“This series reflects an outpouring of support from New Jerseyans that began right after we filed the lawsuit last summer and which never stopped,” said Michael Adams, Director of Education and Public Affairs of Lambda Legal, the civil rights organization representing the couples in the marriage equality lawsuit. “We’re especially proud that our allies include the state’s leading straight and gay organizations alike.”

The sponsoring organizations also reflect New Jersey’s diversity of gender, color, heritage, religion, party identification and union membership. “Perhaps the most important message these town meetings will send,” said Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, “is that you don’t have to choose between supporting marriage equality and domestic partnership recognition. In New Jersey, marriage equality for same-sex couples in an issue in the courts. Domestic partnership is a matter for the legislature and includes rights for all sorts of unmarried families living together. The ACLU, like other organizations across the state, is working hard for both.”

Speaking at each of the 10 town meetings will be marriage equality and domestic partnership leaders, as well as couples participating in the historic marriage equality lawsuit. “Our public officials should take a long hard look at the diversity and strength of the sponsoring organizations,” said Elizabeth Volz, president of the National Organization for Women-New Jersey. “It’s not surprising given that New Jersey has a history of leading the way to progressive change.”

The State of New Jersey is expected to respond to Lambda Legal’s marriage equality lawsuit this month. Cooperating with Lambda Legal on the lawsuit is Gibbons, DelDeo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione.

SCHEDULE OF TOWN MEETINGS

Morris County: Morristown, Monday, January 13 at 7:00 p.m., Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road, First Floor Meeting Room. Essex County - Newark: Newark, Tuesday, January 21 at 7:00 p.m.., Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church, 11 Halsey Street. Mercer County: Trenton, Monday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m., War Memorial, First-Floor Meeting Room. Hudson County: Jersey City, Wednesday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m., Grace Church Van Vorst, Gymnasium, 39 Erie Street. Bergen County: Teaneck, Thursday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m., Ethical Culture Society, 687 Larch Avenue. Essex County - Maplewood: Maplewood, Tuesday, March 18 at 7:00 p.m., DeHart Community Center, 120 Burnett Avenue. Rainbow Families of Maplewood/South Orange will provide free onsite child care. South Jersey: Haddonfield, Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield, Fellowship Hall, 20 Kings Highway East. Union County: Summit, Tuesday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m., Summit Unitarian Church, 4 Waldron Avenue. South Jersey Shore: Cape May, Tuesday, May 6 at 7:00 p.m., Congress Hall, Ballroom, 251 Beach Avenue. Monmouth and Ocean Counties: Asbury Park, Saturday, May 31 at 4:00 p.m., Berkeley-Carteret Hotel, Oval Room, 1401 Ocean Avenue.

SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS OF THE SERIES, “SUPPORTING ALL ROADS TO JUSTICE: Marriage Equality in the Courts, Domestic Partnership in the Legislature”

(This is the full list of sponsors as of March 27.)

Lambda Legal
American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey
National Organization for Women-New Jersey
Family Equality Coalition
Human Rights Campaign
New Jersey Educational Association
New Jersey State Federation of Teachers
Newark Teachers Union, Local 481 AFT
New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition
Freedom to Marry Collaborative
Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry
People For the American Way
American Association of University Professors-Rutgers
Union Members for Marriage Equality
Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church, Newark
Unity Fellowship Church, New Brunswick
First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield
Unitarian Church of Montclair
Gay & Lesbian Faculty and Staff Association of Montclair State University
BiZone of New Jersey
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of Bergen County
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of Northern New Jersey
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of Princeton
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of Philadelphia/South Jersey
HiTOPS, Health Interested Teens Own Program on Sexuality
Princeton Pride Alliance
Gay People Princeton
Lesbian Alliance of Princeton
New Jersey Log Cabin Republicans
New Jersey Stonewall Democrats
Americans for Democratic Action
Union of American Hebrew Congregations, New Jersey-West Hudson Valley Council
Rainbow Families of Maplewood/South Orange
Lambda Families
Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield
African Asian Latina Lesbians United
Ethical Culture Society-Bergen
GABLES of Cape May County
Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County
Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey
Pride Center of New Jersey
Jersey City Lesbian and Gay Outreach
Jersey City Connections-Hudson Pride
United in Grace, Grace Church Van Vorst
Marriage Equality New Jersey
Marriage Equality USA
Jersey Pride
The Oasis, The Episcopal Diocese of Newark
Out & About
Beyond the Rainbow
New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Havurah
NJGayLife.com
Family Pride Coalition
Trenton Gay and Lesbian Civic Association
Out in Jersey Magazine
Christ Church, Summit
Summit Unitarian Church
More Light Presbyterians
New Jersey Drug Policy Alliance/Drug Policy Alliance
New Jersey Coalition for Democracy
Gay and Lesbian Youth in New Jersey
SmartWomen
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network of Northern New Jersey
St. Paul’s Church of Paterson
The Fellowship of Reconciliation
Lavender Greens
First Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hunterdon
William Way Community Center
Giovanni's Room, Philadelphia
Congregation Beth Ahavah
RiderFLAG, Rider University
Bridge of Peace Community Church, Camden
Collingswood Pride
Gloucester County Human Relations Comission
Parent to Parent
Out in the Neighborhood
Rutgers-Camden, Gay Straight Alliance
Rutgers-Camden, Progressive Student Alliance
Rutgers-Camden School of Business, Progressive Alliance
Cumberland Community College, Gay Straight Alliance
South Jersey GLSEN
AIDS Coalition of South Jersey
Tuesday Night Lesbian Connection
Hyacinth AIDS Foundation
The Alliance at Drew University
Trenton Friends Meeting House
Central Unitarian Church, Paramus
More Light Presbyterians
Alice Paul Chapter of NOW-New Jersey
AIDS Fund of Philadelphia


 

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