If you want to bring yourself up to speed on the state of the gay marriage battle, CNN Political Ticker has a very concise summary. The New York Daily News has a somewhat expanded overview, and NJ.com has an article about the supporters and opponents of the bill who showed up in Trenton yesterday. All of them remind us that the battle moves to Washington, D.C. next month.
Last week the New York State Senate voted 38-24 against S4401, the gay marriage bill. As I wrote here, I don't consider this vote a loss. I do consider it a call to action. And action is just what we're getting in New Jersey right now.
Over the weekend gay marriage supporters reacted to the news from New York with a fresh surge of activity and opponents realized that they had to take the battle a little more seriously.
Yesterday the bill cleared the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee. The full Senate vote is set for this Thursday.
I have a modest proposal.
Let's make those marriage equality opponents take it really seriously.
Even if we don't win, that's not the point. We're progressives, so let's make progress. Let's make every call, every letter, every conversation count. The vote last week in New York was 38-24. 39% of the senators voted for the bill. How about we push those numbers as far as we can? And push. And keep pushing. And push some more. And after we've pushed as much as we possibly can, we put our hands on our knees and wheeze for a bit and then we stand up again and we push.
Here's one way folks in New Jersey can do that right now.
1. Show up in person at your senator's office.
2. Call your senator.
3. Write a letter to your senator.
4. Send an e-mail to your senator.
Most people don't have time for #1, so that leaves 2-4. You may be surprised to hear me recommend #2 next: phone calls. I know I was surprised when I heard that senators pay more attention to phone calls than to letters. Don't buy that? Read this article about why New York Senator Joseph Addabbo, who was funded by LGBT groups, decided to vote "No" on gay marriage last week.
So get on the phone, New Jersey and Washington D.C.! Hate tends to get people off their asses and yelling into the receiver more easily than compassion, so you'd better believe that monsters like this are burning up the lines. Don't let them speak for you. Make yourselves heard.