The New Jersey Senate marriage equality bill (The Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act) debate is taking place right now. You can watch it live here. The legislature must vote it up and get it to departing governor Jon Corzine by next Tuesday, because it faces a certain veto by the new right-wing-Bush/Rove lackey- masquerading-as-a-moderate governor, Chris Christie.
Republican State Senator Gerald Cardinale just called marriage equality "violence against marriage." Seriously. Two people of the same sex marrying is "violence," but the actions of Larry Craig, David Vitter, Mark Sanford, John Ensign, Tiger Woods, Eliot Spitzer (I did support him), etc., are not? He also just described a woman in a polygamous marriage as a "gal," and is comparing polygamy to same-sex marriage. Another senator, the markedly effeminate Republican Sean Kean, began his defense of bigotry and his no vote by noting that gay people had "gentrified" poor neighborhoods in his district, which was to be commended. Mumble-mouthed Democrat John Girgenti of Hawthorne added that he thought a referendum was the way to go, and was voting no to defend "traditional values." That my tax dollars fund these bigots is beyond disgusting.
Thankfully Democratic Senator Nia Gill, one of the original potential replacements for Corzine's US Senate seat, delivered an impassioned, historically sound argument on the history of marriage in the US in order to appeal for marriage equality.
UPDATE: The forces of bigotry win out again, at least for now, as the NJ State Senate defeated the bill 20-14. (Roll call here.) 21 votes were required for passage. 1 GOPer, Bill Baroni, joined 19 Democrats, including my local state senator, Sandra Bolden Cunningham, in voting "Yes," while 6 Democrats joined 14 Republicans to vote against marriage equality. 3 Democrats, including the incoming Senate president, and 2 Republicans did not vote.