Saturday, November 24, 2007

Take Action: New Jersey Legislature Seeks to Redefine Marriage for the Nation

from Focus on the Family Citzen Link
by Devon Williams, associate editor
Two bills aim to legalize "same-sex marriage."
Last December, the New Jersey Legislature created civil unions that offer same-sex couples all the protections and benefits of marriage.

The Legislature is using its lame-duck session to introduce multiple bills that would grant civil unions full "marriage" status.

Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, said there's a strong push for lawmakers to take on this controversial issue before the 2008 session, because the newly elected Legislature may be more inclined to defend the institution.

"A number of those that were elected, including Declan O'Scanlon in the 12th District, are people that will vote to protect marriage," he said. "So, we need to do everything we can to make sure that it doesn't come up now and that there is not a vote."

Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, said it's vital that people get involved in this fight.

"There is a likelihood that the bill will pass, especially if there's no outcry from those people that do support marriage as being the union of one man and one woman only," he said. "As long as the voice of the people is heard by the legislators, I think that will help in hopefully stopping this legislation from moving forward."

Since New Jersey does not have any residency laws that would restrict the exportation of "same-sex marriage," the passage of any of the bills would have a devastating impact nationwide.

"Couples could come here from outside the state, get married, go back to their states and then challenge their state legislatures and their state laws on the same-sex marriage issue," Deo said. "Therefore people have the right to call in, whether they live in Oklahoma or Pennsylvania or any other state."

He's asking people across the nation to call New Jersey's lawmakers — especially those in leadership: Gov. Corzine, Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts and Senate President Richard Codey.

Brown said the situation is not hopeless.

"We're nowhere near the point of no return on this," he said, "but it's going to require people standing up and making their voices heard."

Please e-mail three key New Jersey leaders and ask them to oppose "same-sex marriage" and to support an amendment to protect the definition of marriage.

Speaker of the Assembly Joseph Roberts is reachable through the CitizenLink Action Center.

Senate President Richard Codey is also reachable through the Action Center.

Gov. Jon Corzine can only be contacted electronically through a form on his Web site. The first page will ask you to select a topic from a list, but, as of this writing, the governor does not think marriage is important enough to place in that list. Our best advice is to choose one that seems to fit — or choose one at random.

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