Our votes and donations to their campaigns are first-class however it is apparent that many New Jersey politicos believe our lives and loves are second-class – they won’t be spreading holiday cheer this year by endorsing the Gay Marriage Bill. 

“I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman,” said Senator Sean Kean in an exclusive interview with The Coaster and TheBPlot earlier this week.  “After giving it serious thought, careful consideration, having met with numerous folks from both sides of the aisle, I don’t plan on supporting the bill.”

Asbury Park resident Amy Quinn suggests New Jersey residents should continue lobbying their representatives.

“Urge your friends in towns throughout New Jersey to put pressure on their senators to support marriage equality,” said Amy.  “We need everyone to play a role in this struggle – not just gay people. ”

Below is where the Bill stands now:

  • The gay marriage bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, (Senator Sean Kean is not on this committee so he was not a part of this vote).
  • The bill was then posted for a vote in the Senate, but it was shortly after removed from the list by the sponsors.
  • The Senate would like the Assembly to vote on the bill first.
  • The next steps would be for the Assembly Judiciary Committee to vote on the bill on January 4th and if passed there, then the bill could be voted on by the Assembly and the Senate on January 7th or 11th.
  • However, at this time, the bill has not been scheduled for a vote.

Five senators issued a statement Friday (Dec. 18) expressing their suport for “strengthening New Jersey’s civil union law.”

“A civil union is a legal contract, and the terms must be respected,” Senator Andrew Ciesla said. “No one can ignore the law.”

“It should be just as easy for civil union couples to split assets or to go through probate as it is for married couples,” said Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman, who urged reform of the civil union laws while hearing testimony on the issue before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I would support any reasonable legislation that ensures this happens in every case.”

“If medical coverage is offered to spouses and other dependents, then it also should be offered to civil union partners,” Senator Sean Kean said. “We will do everything possible to ensure that no partner in a civil union is denied medical care.”

A New Jersey lobbyist, who has been fighting tirelessly for gay marriage for years, sees differently.

“The statement by the five republicans reflected absolutely nothing new,” said Steve Goldstein of Garden State Equality.  “We look forward to winning marriage equality in the next few weeks.”