Today’s post is a rather quick one – an embed of video taken of Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker speaking briefly in reference to gay/civil rights in the State of New Jersey (special thanks to college/Facebook friend Katie for bringing this to my attention!).
To put in into context, Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has recently suggested a public referendum vote to decide the issue of equal marriage rights rather than supporting a bill in the state legislature that would legalize them.
Christie – a largely vocal and often controversial persona on the Republican stage – has already promised to veto any legislation that would legalize such gay marriage, arguing instead that the decision should be put up to a vote by the people of New Jersey.
This “move” is a coy one, as although recent polls suggest the majority of New Jersey residents actually support gay marriage, ballot questions on gay marriage almost never work out in favor of civil rights.
According to gay marriage advocate group Freedom to Marry, voters have rejected same-sex marriage rights in over 30 attempts.
In the video below, someone in the audience brought the topic up with Mayor Booker, who had some poignant views on the topic:
“I shudder to think what would have happened if the civil rights gains, heroically established by courageous lawmakers in the 1960s, were instead conveniently left up to popular votes in our 50 states,” Booker said.
Booker has long been an advocate for marriage equality for years. Since being elected mayor of Newark in 2006, he has refused to perform marriages at City Hall in protest of the state’s inept equality laws.
In 2009, he founded the City of Newark Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Concerns Advisory Commission which examines issues of inequality and harassment, based on sexual identity in the city.
In the mayor’s response, he added that “[e]qual protection under the law – for race, religion, gender or sexual orientation – should not be subject to the most popular sentiments of the day. Marriage equality is not a choice. It is a legal right. I hope our leaders in Trenton will affirm and defend it.”
View the entire clip below, and follow Mayor Booker on Twitter at www.twitter.com/corybooker.