Thursday, August 16, 2007

Garden Staters Favor Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

Boy in Bushwick officially turns 26 today as he further embarks upon his mid-twenties journey. The movement for LGBT rights, however, charges on with a study Garden State Equality released ahead of the sixth month anniversary of the law which extended civil unions to gay and lesbian couples which found most New Jersey residents favor same-sex nuptials.

The Zogby survey polled 803 Garden State voters. It found 63 percent would support lawmakers' decision to extend marriage to same-sex couples. The survey also reported 61 percent of New Jersey voters said they feel marriage will become a reality for gay and lesbian couples in two years. Some activists within the national movement for LGBT rights discredit Zogby but GSE Chair Steven Goldstein understandably praised the results.

"Regardless of whether any public official supports marriage equality or wants to maintain the state's failed civil unions law, no official in New Jersey can credibly say that marriage for gay couples is a divisive issue in the state," he said.

Failed? Activists on the ground in New Jersey continue to maintain the civil unions bill is one step towards eventual marriage for same-sex couples. The 2008 presidential candidates, especially those who see New Jersey as a lucrative prize in the primary process, may disagree as U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York indicated during last week's Logo debate in Los Angeles. This poll certainly provides Goldstein and his supporters ammunition with which they can use to lobby lawmakers after this November's local elections. The debate, however, will obviously rage on as other states debate this issue.

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