Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Garden State Equality: Time to Focus on New Jersey

Statement from Steven Goldstein, Chair and CEO of Garden State Equality
November 4, 2009

The difference between last night and tonight in New Jersey’s battle for marriage equality is that we are one day closer to winning marriage equality in the current legislative session. For much of the year, Governor Corzine was trailing substantially in the polls. That has been the longest context in which we have strategized to win marriage equality.

Jon Corzine has been an spectacular Governor for the LGBT community, deeply committed to winning marriage equality, and he will still be Governor through mid-January. He will be working with the two staunchly pro-marriage equality leaders of the legislature, Senate President Dick Codey and Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts – two of the savviest public servants you could meet. They will be joined by Jon’s running mate, Senator Loretta Weinberg, New Jersey’s all-time champion of LGBT equality. We’re thrilled to have this all-star team on our side in these last months of the Governor’s term.

To members of the LGBT community who have focused on other states, it’s time to stop treating New Jersey like Rodney Dangerfield. It’s time to give New Jersey more respect, attention and yes, resources.

Our state is every bit as sexy as the other states: We are the home state of the National Organization for Marriage, and we need your help to beat NOM on its home turf. We are also a populous state, a huge prize for the movement. In fact, when New Jersey wins marriage equality, it will increase by 50 percent the number of Americans living in a jurisdiction with marriage equality. New Jersey has roughly as many residents as all the other marriage equality states combined.

The battles of 2009 in Maine, Washington and Kalamazoo are over. Iowa, thank God, seems secure. California is building steam for victory – and we will all be there for that battle. But right here and now, it’s New Jersey – urgently.

How can you help?

1. Watch the commercials we began airing on television tonight, election night. They are posted on Garden State Equality’s website, in the TELEVISION COMMERCIALS BOX there.

2. Write about the commercials on your blogs, columns and articles. Specifically, please help us make the stars of the 60-second commercial, Marsha and Louise, nationally known. Marsha and Louise have one of the most heart-wrenching stories you’ll ever encounter. If you’re not moved by the commercial starring Marsha and Louise, heck, I don’t know what would move you.

3. Forward the commercials via YouTube to everyone in sight.

4. Help Garden State Equality keep the commercials on the air by donating at, and please include this link with a pitch in your articles.

5. Come to New Jersey asap if you’d like to join our campaign. If you’re an organization with staff to lend us, we would be grateful. You can call me directly on my cell, (917) 449-8918.

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