Marriage Equality Advocates Split on Next Move After Victories
Gay-marriage approval by voters in Washington, Maryland and Maine last month led Democratic New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora to plot a new strategy around the veto power of Republican Governor Chris Christie.
Gusciora, sponsor of a bill allowing same-sex nuptials that passed the legislature this year and was rejected by Christie, introduced a bill on Dec. 13 to put such rights on the ballot. He found himself minus support from Garden State Equality, a gay-advocacy group that earlier this year called him a “pioneer” with “tenacity that’s truly inspirational.” “A majority does not vote on the rights of a minority,” said Steven Goldstein, 50, founder and chairman of the Montclair-based organization, which has 124,850 members and has been lobbying for equal rights since 2004. The rift between Goldstein and Gusciora, one of two openly gay lawmakers, mirrors national splintering, as some activists question the no-ballot stance endorsed by the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign and New York-based Freedom to Marry, the biggest financial backers of gay-marriage measures.