New Jersey Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill: Lambda Legal Urges Assembly to Follow

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February 13, 2012
Kevin M. Cathcart

"We hope the Assembly will pass the measure quickly and make New Jersey a true leader for equality."

(Trenton, February 13, 2012) -- Today after the New Jersey Senate voted to pass the marriage equality bill, Lambda Legal urged the Assembly to follow their lead and vote in favor of marriage equality in New Jersey.  

Lambda Legal released the following statement from Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal:
"This was a huge hurdle, and we congratulate our colleagues at Garden State Equality and all our allies for the tremendous effort that brought this result. We hope the Assembly will pass the measure quickly and make New Jersey a true leader for equality.
"It is a powerful message when those who once opposed marriage for same-sex couples have changed their mind--and that is what we saw in the New Jersey Senate today. 
"As we have seen all across the country -- from Washington State to the recent court decision ruling California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional -- history is on our side. It is critical that we continue to tell our stories in our neighborhoods, in legislatures and in court to help change hearts and minds and move history forward. 
"When Lambda Legal filed our marriage equality lawsuit in New Jersey last June, we were prepared for a long legal battle that we believe will end with a decision in favor of equality. We know that there are many roads to justice and we want our seven plaintiff couples, their families and all same-sex couples in New Jersey to have marriage equality as quickly as possible. Let's finish the job so they can get married," Cathcart, a New Jersey native, added. "We won’t stop fighting until they can."
Last June, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit for marriage equality arguing that barring same-sex couples from marriage and relegating them to civil union violates the New Jersey Constitution.
"I've been with my spouse for nine years, but when I say I have a civil union, no one knows what that means," says Elena Quinones, plaintiff in the lawsuit. "We need marriage equality because no family should have to walk around with a binder full of papers justifying themselves to everyone the way that we do."