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(TRENTON) – Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) released the following statement Thursday as the Assembly Judiciary Committee considered marriage equality legislation (A-1) he’s sponsoring:

“I thank the committee for hearing this bill today that recognizes that all couples deserve the protections afforded by marriage.
“We know by now that New Jersey’s civil union law does not offer equal protections. We’ve repeatedly heard heartbreaking stories of couples in committed relationships running into problems when it comes to hospital care and other considerations given to heterosexual couples.
“We cannot single out a group of people and deem them undeserving of the same legal and economic protections others enjoy.
“We were reminded Monday of what true courage means when Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights hero, came to our capital city and talked of standing up for what’s right and ending all forms of discrimination.
“As elected officials, we must all follow his brave example and do the right thing when it comes to ensuring civil rights.”