Thursday, June 23, 2011

In a dramatic public apology on the Senate floor today (June 20, 2011), New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney says his not voting for marriage equality was "the biggest mistake of my career"

Posted by Rev. Stephen Parelli
Source:  Garden State Equality
June 23, 20100

Contact: Steven Goldstein, Garden State Equality Chair  cell (917) 449-8918

Monday, June 20, 2011 --
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, the most powerful leader in New Jersey after the Governor, apologized on the floor of the state Senate today for his not voting for marriage equality in January 2010. When the Senate voted then, the New Jersey legislature was in post-election lame duck session and Democratic Governor Jon Corzine had days left to his term. Chris Christie's election had turned a sure thing into rapid collapse.

Today Senator Sweeney called his abstention – equal to a no vote in the New Jersey legislature – ”the biggest mistake of my legislative career."

Senate President Sweeney's exact words today:
"Seventeen months ago, I stood up here and made the biggest mistake of my legislative career. I made a decision based purely on political calculations not to vote in support of marriage equality. I failed in my responsibility as majority leader of this house of government to actually lead. I was wrong. To my fellow colleagues, to staff, and to those watching upstairs, let me tell you: never, ever again will I allow that to happen. The time for political calculations is over."
Reaction of Garden State Equality Chair Steven Goldstein:
"We welcome Senate President Sweeney’s support with open arms. The world evolves, and our responsibility as advocates is not to hold grudges, but to pass laws.

"Today we indeed have the votes to pass marriage equality in both houses of the New Jersey legislature. But we do not have enough votes, to be sure, to override Governor Christie's veto. It means New Jersey will have to win marriage equality through other means.

"Stay tuned for an announcement very, very soon. We are ready for the next round of our monumental fight to win equality for all."

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