Speaker’s Remarks to General Assembly Prior to 42-33 Final Passage of Marriage Equality Legislation
(TRENTON) — Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex) issued a multimedia package Friday of her floor speech during the General Assembly debate on the marriage equality legislation she sponsored.
The measure received final legislative approval by a vote of 42-33.
The “Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act” (A-1) would eliminate the civil unions that have been in place in New Jersey since 2007 but have failed to provide equal treatment to the state’s same-sex couples and instead define marriage as the legally recognized union of two consenting people in a committed relationship.
It also expressly stipulates that no clergy of any religion authorized to solemnize marriage, nor any religious society, institution or organization in the state would be required to conduct any marriage in violation of their free exercise of religion.
The bill also is sponsored by Assembly members Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer), Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), Mila M. Jasey (D-Essex), John F. McKeon (D-Essex), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen), Jason O’Donnell (D-Hudson), Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) and Timothy J. Eustace (D-Bergen).
The multimedia package consists of a video of the Speaker’s floor speech to the General Assembly and audio of same.
The audio file is available upon request.