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Archive: New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

by Jeremy Hooper

**UPDATE, 10:30PM: The testimony and debate are over, and it's official:

THE VOTE is 7-6! Now on to the full Senate (this Thurs.)!

**Miss anything from the 8+ hour hearing? Well here's the full archive, broken down in parts:

-Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D) gives a rock star speech (starts a minute or two in):

Blocks Image 8 1-1

-Sen. Lesniak (D) makes an important distinction that far too few people make: The one that separates claims of hate and bigotry from those that call our opponents "haters" or "bigots." It's an important point, considering the way folks like NOM's Maggie Gallagher keep trying to play the victim whenever principled people speak out against bias:


-Sen. Cardinale (R) sounds like a NOM press release. One that is all about majority tyranny rolling back minority rights:


-Sen. Bill Baroni (R) proposes the same kind of (unnecessary) religious exemptions we've seen in other states like NH and CT. Sen. Weinberg vows to consider them. Sen. Gill (D) then weighs in:


-Assembly sponsor Reed Gusciora (D):


-Public testimony gets off to a rousing start with civil rights hero Julian Bond:

Ldr Jbond 200-1

And then Bond is questioned. Sen. Cardinale's attempt to trip him up is actually pretty disgusting. The rest are respectful, with some bordering on fawning:

-And now we turn it over to the public: First testimony is pro-fairness, second is staunchly anti-:

(sorry for any ancillary computer noises)

Questioning of the Catholic leader essentially reveals that they will say whatever they need to say at the specific time to obtain whatever goal they are currently seeking. And of course there's lots of talk about "respect,' which we sincerely respect. But of course there's no real acknowledgement of the harsh level of disrespect that the church continues to show to LGBT people and their supporters:


The law is on our side:

Religion is more of a mixed bag:


Protect the children and teens. Seriously:

More testimony:

-And now for a big block of anti-gays. It goes from rambly to dull to immensely offensive (laminated power of attorney cards -- seriously?!) to embarrassingly illogical, venturing back-and-forth between the four with a cold, callous, woefully irresponsible ease:

The anti-fairness continues with a seriously unhinged Greg Quinlan. But then we get a nice respite in the form of an adorable young lass:

Back to anti-equality, beginning with a "sodomy-spouting" Damon Owens (who you might remember as the face of NOM's "Gathering Storm" ad):

Here are more truly eye-opening rants (portions of which I failed to capture, sadly), followed by rational legal assessments' comforting return. Oh but then you simply MUST hear what flies out of the mouth of the fairness-hostile Sen. Cardinale:

(note: Sen. Gill apologized on behalf of the Senate for Cardinale's out-of-line behavior. Unfortunately it got cut off)

-More supportive testimony:

***Public testimony is now closed:

-And now they debate/vote:

THE VOTE is 7-6! Now on to the full Senate!

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Your thoughts

It will be nice when we no longer have to watch people vote on our civil rights.

Posted by: Mark | Dec 7, 2009 3:13:05 PM

I think Julian Bond is simply a brilliant man for our times.

Posted by: John Ozed | Dec 7, 2009 4:07:36 PM

I don't know if I could have been more disgusted by the Catholic leader's dodging.

Posted by: Gary | Dec 7, 2009 4:16:39 PM

I hope NJ gets marriage equality for two reasons:

1. So NJ residents will finally have full equality under state law.

2. So NY Senators start thinking, "Damn. We effed up."

Posted by: stojef | Dec 7, 2009 9:47:27 PM

There is no gray area in equality! Thank you Senators for a civil and vital debate and discussion. Please do the right thing.

Posted by: Marcinho Savant | Dec 7, 2009 10:15:14 PM

Thank you for posting these. I listened to the hearing live yesterday. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotion. Glad I can share some of these testimonies with friends and family.

Posted by: ChrisDC | Dec 8, 2009 7:09:07 AM

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