Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Statement by Steven Goldstein, Chair of Garden State Equality, on today’s vote in New York

Garden State Equality
December 2, 2009
First let’s not go a moment without saluting our sister organization, the Empire State Pride Agenda, which has done a spectacular job fighting for LGBT people across New York. The Pride Agenda’s leadership, including my counterpart Alan Van Capelle, merit our deepest gratitude today. The Pride Agenda will win marriage equality in New York to be sure, and so will Garden State Equality in New Jersey.

Now let’s compare the two states. What happens on the other side of the Hudson River stays on the other side of the Hudson. The demographics of New York and New Jersey are very different – the Hudson might as well be a thousand miles apart. New Jersey has enacted 210 laws at the state and local levels in the last five years. In fact, a study released just yesterday ranked New Jersey as tied for #1 in America for LGBT civil rights.

The people of New Jersey have welcomed each advancement for LGBT civil rights with open arms rather than clenched fists. The only backlash New Jersey’s political leaders should fear is the backlash that would result by not enacting marriage equality. That backlash would be guaranteed. If Democrats in New Jersey don’t lead the way, as they promised, to pass marriage equality in 2009, there could be a mutiny against the New Jersey Democratic Party the likes of which this state has never seen. Progressives – not just LGBT people but all progressives – would think twice before volunteering or donating to the party. It would be a political earthquake.

Click here to take action in New Jersey!


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