Reaction To Obama’s Support Of Gay Marriage
President Obama’s support of gay marriage during an interview with ABC News has brought out reaction from many New Jersey politicians who made the biggest priority when the Legislative session began in January.PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Gay Marriage
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen)
“Congratulations, Mr. President. I, like many Americans, am proud of your decision to put aside election-year political calculations and to make clear your own personal beliefs.
“Like many of my colleagues in New Jersey and millions of Americans, the President’s ‘evolution’ on marriage equality has ended in the same place and with the same conclusion: Recognizing the rights of all couples to live and love as they wish is simply the right thing.
“I wish the President’s announcement today could magically end the debate, but it will not. Those of us who support marriage equality must continue to press on and to help others complete their own evolutionary journeys on this issue. Thankfully, though, we now have one less hurdle to overcome.”
U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ)
“President Obama’s support for marriage equality marks an important moment for civil rights in America. We simply can not treat same sex couples as second-class citizens in our country. Marriage equality is one of the most significant civil rights battles of our time and is critical to guaranteeing the equal protection under the law promised to every American in the Constitution. The President’s support for marriage equality should inspire Congress, Governors and state legislatures to advance civil rights for all Americans.”
Senate President Steve Sweeney
“By publicly announcing his support for marriage equality, President Obama has done a great and tremendously important thing for the cause of justice. Supporters of this issue of civil rights could have no greater public supporter and no better person to draw people to the cause than the president.
“In light of the absolutely shameful action we saw in North Carolina yesterday, it is good to know that public support for marriage equality continues to rise. Setbacks, no matter how big or small, will not deter what we all know is destined to become a reality. It is time the opponents of fairness and equality, Governor Christie among them, realize they are on the wrong side of history.”
Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic)
“This truly is a monumental day for our nation. As the first sitting American President to endorse marriage equality, I want to commend President Obama for his evolution on this issue.
“Anyone who approaches this with a thoughtful, open mind can see it for what it truly is –a civil rights issue.
“I commend him for his leadership and willingness to face down the critics in the interest of standing up for the rights of every American.
“I only hope the Governor will follow the President down the same reflective path towards endorsing true equality in our state while he still has the chance,” said Oliver.
Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon)
“The President has exhibited a tremendous amount of courage and leadership, especially in the face of an election year and the growing, bitter partisan divide engulfing Washington. This is a historic moment for our nation.
“The fact remains that there are countless gay couples in this state and in our country that own property, pay taxes and raise children, yet are sidelined by a lack of legal recognition of their marital bonds. For the President to acknowledge that these marital bonds must be provided on an equitable basis is a remarkable step.
“His temerity is to be applauded. If other political leaders in Washington would have the courage to follow suit, and set an example for our nation, we might begin to see a systematic decline in the bigotry, hatred and bullying leveled at countless Americans.
“I hope the Governor has the courage to evolve on this issue as well,” said Gusciora.
Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington)
“I applaud President Obama for announcing he supports marriage equality for same-sex couples. As I said during debate the floor of our historic Assembly vote approving marriage equality, our Constitution means every single one of our citizens has the fundamental right and expectation to be treated equally under the law. That is why I strongly support marriage equality, and that is why I am proud of President Obama’s announcement today.
“In past statements opposing marriage equality, Governor Christie has noted his feet were ‘firmly planted right next to President Obama’ on this issue. Today, that is no longer true.
“The reality is, there is only one person standing in the way of full marriage equality in New Jersey–Governor Christie. It’s time for the Governor to stop punting this issue to a referendum and do what’s right. It’s time for the Governor to stop obstructing equality and support full equality under the law for all New Jersey families.”
Congressman Steve Rothman (NJ-9)
As an early and strong proponent of Marriage Equality, I am very happy that President Obama has made this announcement. Marriage Equality is a matter of basic human rights and all of America’s same-sex families are now closer to having their unions recognized by our government. This is an important step in our country’s march toward achieving true justice and equality for all.