Gay marriage proponents in New Jersey
rallied on Sunday as New York's gay marriage law took effect.
Roughly 150 people looked on from the
Pier A Park in Hoboken toward the Manhattan skyline as they rallied
for marriage equality in the Garden State, the
Hoboken Patch reported.
“New Jersey needs marriage equality,”
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer told the crowd, “and we need it now.”
New Jersey is among the five states
that recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions. In Hawaii,
Illinois, Delaware and, most recently, Rhode Island lawmakers
approved legislation legalizing civil unions. In New Jersey,
however, civil unions were approved by the Legislature to remedy a
state Supreme Court ruling declaring the state's ban on gay marriage
Proponents attempted to legalize the
institution last year during a lame-duck session of the Legislature
before Governor Chris Christie, who opposes such unions, took office.
The loss prompted supporters to return to court.
Sunday's rally was organized by gay
rights groups Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal.
Goldstein suggests Governor Chris Christie's opposition to gay
marriage would disadvantage a run for the White House.)
U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg,
Congressman Frank Pallone and state Senator Ray Lesniak spoke at the
Lesniak said the Democratic Party in
New Jersey is working on building a bipartisan veto-proof marriage
equality majority in the Legislature before a new bill is introduced.
Middlesex County couple Marsha Shapiro
and Louise Walpin, who are plaintiffs in the new lawsuit, told the
crowd that “no one understands what a civil union is.”
“The time is now for us not to be
treated as second class citizens,” Shapiro added.