Marriage Equality

  • Current Status

    marriage_equality_logoOn October 21, 2013 same-sex marriages became legal in New Jersey following a hard-fought campaign in which UUs across the state were involved. UULMNJ worked closely with Garden State Equality and New Jersey United for Marriage to encourage our members to attend rallies, visit legislators, and send letters in support of same-sex marriage. Many congregations were open in the wake of this historic event to officiate marriages.

  • Background

    The stage was set for the demise of New Jersey civil unions in June of 2013 when the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in U.S. v. Windsor finding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional in excluding same-sex couples from the federal benefits afforded to opposite-sex couples. That decision prompted new action in Garden State Equality v. Dow, litigation pending in New Jersey challenging the premise that civil unions were equal to marriage as required by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2006. In September. In September of 2013 the judge ruled that, in the wake of U.S. v. Windsor, New Jersey’s constitution required that the State recognize same-sex marriage. She ordered marriages to begin on October 21, 2013. Although the State appealed the court’s ruling, the appeal was withdrawn after the State’s request for a stay of that order was denied by the trial judge and then the New Jersey Supreme Court. Our long fight for marriage equality finally succeeded.marriage_equality_rally

    James DeBoer has put together a Marriage Equality Guide available as a handout for coffee hour or to give to any couple looking for more information.  It explains most of the questions that arise concerning same-sex marriage in New Jersey as of now.

    Thank you to everyone who helped make this campaign so successful. The grass roots pressure that was created in local districts through visits, letters and phone calls helped set the state for dropping the court appeal. Marriage Equality is now the law in New Jersey.

    UULMNJ Clergy at Marriage Equality Rally

    UULMNJ Clergy at Marriage Equality Rally: Getting ready for the day: Rev. Virginia Jarocha-Ernst, Rev. Charlie Ortman, Rev. Charles Stephens, Rev. Julia Hamilton, Rev. Bob Janis-Dillon. (photo: Betty Wyka)

    UULMNJ at rally for marriage equality

    UULMNJ at rally for marriage equality: With religious leaders from sixteen different traditions, we sent a message to the press that many churches, synagogues and houses of worship want equal recognition for all couples. (photo: Betty Wyka)

  • Policy Brief

    The Legislative Ministry of New Jersey supports full marriage equality legislation in New Jersey.  Unitarian Universalist support for marriage equality stems from the belief in respecting “the inherent worth and dignity of every person” and in “justice, equity and compassion in human relations” – beliefs we share with many outside our faith tradition.  These beliefs apply equally to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and lead us to not only support, but embrace, marriage equality.

    Unitarian Universalist congregations and clergy have long recognized and celebrated same-sex unions and marriages within our faith tradition.  Therefore, we support overturning the veto of marriage equality legislation in New Jersey, Assembly Bill A-1, as well as achieving marriage equality through repeal or overturn of the federal law known as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

    Read our policy brief here

  • Historic Links