New Jersey State Senate Votes Down Marriage Equality Bill

Boston, MA (January 7, 2010) — Today, despite the inspirational leadership of Garden State Equality and elected leaders such as Governor Jon Corzine, the New Jersey State Senate failed to pass a marriage equality bill by a vote of 14-20.

Statement of Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director, Family Equality Council:

“Today’s State Senate vote failed New Jersey’s families as well as the equality mandate of the New Jersey Constitution. There are over 16,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families in New Jersey, over a quarter of which are raising thousands of children. For too long, these families have endured second class status under a separate, unequal, and unconstitutional civil union scheme that even legislators who oppose marriage equality concede is a proven failure. These families, and particularly the children in them, need and deserve the recognition, respect, and security full marriage equality provides.

Despite today’s vote, full marriage equality is closer than ever before in New Jersey and it will come. The New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 2006, in a case led by Lambda Legal, that LGBT families must be treated equality under the New Jersey Constitution. We look forward to supporting Lambda Legal, and continuing to support Garden State Equality, as Lambda Legal goes back to court to secure the full equality due to New Jersey’s LGBT families.

The recent passage of marriage equality in Washington, D.C. demonstrates that the national momentum for full marriage equality remains on the side of love and justice. The Family Equality Council, alongside the families we support, will continue to push for full equality until the days of partial rights, injustice, and inequality finally become a relic of the past in New Jersey and across the U.S.”

The Family Equality Council is the leading national LGBT family advocacy organization and is a proud partner of Garden State Equality.

About Family Equality Council

The Family Equality Council works to ensure equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families by building community, changing hearts and minds, and advancing social justice for all families. For more information, visit