Urges Governor to Show Courage on Marriage Equality
(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement Wednesday on Gov. Chris Christie’s comment that, “People would have been happy to have referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.”:
“Gov. Christie better sit down with some of New Jersey’s great teachers for a history lesson, because his puzzling comment shows a complete misunderstanding about the civil rights movement.
“It’s impossible to ever conceive that a referendum on civil rights in the South would have been successful and brought justice to minorities.
“It’s unfathomable to even suggest a referendum would have been the better course.
“Governor – people were fighting and dying in the streets of the South for a reason. They were fighting and dying in the streets of the South because the majority refused to grant minorities equal rights by any method. It look legislative action to bring justice to all Americans, just as legislative action is the right way to bring marriage equality to all New Jerseyans.
“The governor’s comment is an insult to those who had no choice but to fight and die in the streets for equal rights.
“The governor needs to show the same courage. We do not shrug off civil rights. We do not pass on tough decisions.”