Press

NJ Assembly Judiciary Committee passes civil unions bill

Date: 
December 07, 2006

Task Force urges a more thorough deliberation of critically important measure

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“A rush to judgment here would be a profound insult to the state’s Supreme Court, to the deliberative process in which the Legislature is supposed to engage, and to thousands of lesbian and gay families.” — Matt Foreman, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force


WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 —  The New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee today passed the Civil Unions Act by a 4-to-2 vote. The legislation filed late Monday and made available to the public Tuesday is the response of key Democratic lawmakers to the state Supreme Court’s Oct. 25 ruling that New Jersey must extend all privileges of marriage to same-sex couples within 180 days. If enacted into law, the measure would provide limited legal benefits and economic protections to same-sex couples and their children.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“This bill will have lifelong repercussions for those entering into civil unions in New Jersey. It deserves careful legal analysis and ample opportunity for those who will be most affected by it to be heard. Almost immediately after the court’s ruling, New Jersey’s political leadership voiced its desire to jam a civil unions measure through the Legislature ASAP. We deplore any political rush to judgment on this critically important issue, and urge the full Assembly to resist this misguided impulse.

“Other states that have passed civil unions have recognized the monumental nature of such an action. The process to get civil unions passed in Connecticut took more than two years as lawmakers took the opportunity to fully debate the issue.

“A rush to judgment here would be a profound insult to the state’s Supreme Court, to the deliberative process in which the Legislature is supposed to engage, and to thousands of lesbian and gay families.”

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.