State of New Jersey Archives: on Civil Rights


Barbara Buono: Daughter is gay; supports same-sex marriage

Christie and Buono clashed on marriage equality. Asked how he would react if any of his children told him they were gay, Christie maintained his opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage.

"If my children came to me and said they were gay I would grab them and hug them and tell them I love them," Christie said. "I would also tell them that your dad believes that marriage is between one man and one woman."

Buono, whose daughter is gay, said the governor's position on marriage equality makes him like Sarah Palin and the GOP caucus in Iowa.

Source: Newark Star-Ledger on 2013 N.J. Governor debates Oct 16, 2013

Chris Christie: If my kids were gay, I'd give them a hug; but no marriage

Christie and Buono clashed on marriage equality. Asked how he would react if any of his children told him they were gay, Christie maintained his opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage.

"If my children came to me and said they were gay I would grab them and hug them and tell them I love them," Christie said. "I would also tell them that your dad believes that marriage is between one man and one woman."

Source: Newark Star-Ledger on 2013 N.J. Governor debates Oct 16, 2013

Cory Booker: Supports gay marriage: We are all equal under the law

The two clashed sharply on just about every issue, including gay marriage and abortion. Booker said he supports same-sex marriage, saying "We are all equal under the law."

Lonegan said "marriage is the greatest institution made by man" because "it's about the children." Asked whether he believes gay couples should have children, he quipped: "That would be a biological phenomenon." He then added: "I have mixed feelings about that."

Source: Newark Star-Ledger coverage of 2013 N.J. Senate debate Oct 9, 2013

Cory Booker: African-Americans & gays should both be equal under the law

A state Superior Court judge last week ruled New Jersey must allow gay couples to get married. Lonegan said the ruling on same-sex marriage should be made by the state Legislature or people of New Jersey, not a judge.

Booker disagreed and said that as an African-American, he would "not be standing here right now if judges didn't say everyone in America is equal under the law."

"The ability to marry the person you love is one of the most fundamental liberties in America," he added.

Source: Newark Star-Ledger coverage of 2013 N.J. Senate debate Oct 5, 2013

Steve Lonegan: Same-sex marriage should be decided by voting, not judges

A state Superior Court judge last week ruled New Jersey must allow gay couples to get married. Lonegan said the ruling on same-sex marriage should be made by the state Legislature or people of New Jersey, not a judge.

Booker disagreed and said that as an African-American, he would "not be standing here right now if judges didn't say everyone in America is equal under the law."

"The ability to marry the person you love is one of the most fundamental liberties in America," he added.

Source: Newark Star-Ledger coverage of 2013 N.J. Senate debate Oct 5, 2013

Barbara Buono: Push legislature to legalize gay marriage

The Supreme Court's invalidation of a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act has effects immediately in New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who supports civil unions but opposes gay marriage, is up for reelection in a blue state this fall. Opponent Barbara Buono (D) is already trying to put some heat on him over DOMA. In a recent email blast, her gay daughter called Christie "a giant roadblock to New Jersey achieving equality for all." In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, Buono is pushing the legislature for a vote to override his veto of gay marriage legislation last fall.

"Lawmakers who need [political] cover, they certainly have it now," she told the Post. "Those that need a way to rationalize their vote to override, they've got it."

But some gay marriage activists say they simply don't have the 15 votes in the legislature to overcome Christie's veto. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney says he is planning a vote but has not scheduled one.

Source: Washington Post on 2013 N.J. Governor's debate Jun 28, 2013

Chris Christie: Supreme Court accepting gay marriage was "a bad decision"

Hours after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling today striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Gov. Chris Christie maintained his opposition to same-sex marriage and lambasted the high court. "It's just another example of judicial supremacy rather than having the government run by the people we actually vote for," he said of the high court's 5-4 vote. "I thought it was a bad decision."

Christie noted that DOMA originated with a Republican Congress & Democratic president. "I thought that Justice (Anthony) Kennedy's opinion in many respects was incredibly insulting to those people, 340-some members of Congress who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, and Bill Clinton," he said. "They basically said the only reason to pass that bill was to demean people."

Christie calls for voters to decide the issue in each state [which pleases liberals]. His opposition to gay marriage could maintain his conservative bone fides while pacifying GOP voters in early primary states.

Source: Newark Star-Ledger on 2013 N.J. Governor's debate Jun 27, 2013

Bob Menendez: Evolved from supporting DOMA to supporting same-sex marriage

Menendez said although he supported the Defense of Marriage Act in the House in the 1990s, which restricted the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage, he now favored it.

Kyrillos, who has voted against same-sex marriage twice in the state Senate, jumped on Menendez for changing his mind and said he wanted to "motivate civil unions," legislation he voted against in 2006.

Source: Newark Star-Ledger on 2012 N.J. Senate debate Oct 10, 2012

Joe Kyrillos: Evolved from opposing civil unions to support over marriage

Menendez said although he supported the Defense of Marriage Act in the House in the 1990s, which restricted the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage, he now favored it.

Kyrillos, who has voted against same-sex marriage twice in the state Senate, jumped on Menendez for changing his mind and said he wanted to "motivate civil unions," legislation he voted against in 2006.

Source: Newark Star-Ledger on 2012 N.J. Senate debate Oct 10, 2012

Dick Zimmer: Supports Patriot Act as appropriate response

Zimmer said he supports the USA Patriot Act “as an appropriate response to a very serious existential problem to the United States,” adding that the 2002 law helped law enforcement monitor and track the nation’s enemies through the Electronic Age’s newer forms of communications.
Source: Press of Atlantic City on 2008 N.J. Senate Debate May 23, 2008

Joe Pennacchio: DOMA instead of same-sex marriage

Q: Should New Jersey recognize marriages between same-sex couples?

A: No.

Q: Do you support a New Jersey constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman?

A: Yes.

Source: N.J. Gubernatorial 2007-2008 Political Courage Test Nov 2, 2007

Joe Pennacchio: No general affirmative action in state decisions

Q: On Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity or gender be taken into account in state agencies’ decisions on: Public employment?

A: No.

Q: State college and university admissions?

A: No.

Q: State contracting?

A: No.

Pennacchio adds, “I agree with Supreme Court which held Affirmative Action can be used only when addressing ‘specific’ instances of discrimination.”

Source: N.J. Gubernatorial 2007-2008 Political Courage Test Nov 2, 2007

Robert Menendez: Support affirmative action in all government contracts

Q: Should the government should take greater account of affirmative action considerations in awarding its contracts?

KEAN: I support merit-based initiatives that recognize the value of diversity and believe we need to ban pay-to-play, which discriminates against minority access to government programs.

MENENDEZ: The federal government has a responsibility to ensure that all businesses have an equal opportunity to compete for contracts - including small, minority and women-owned businesses.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate (X-ref Kean) Sep 24, 2006

Robert Menendez: Supports Amendment banning flag-burning, a uniting symbol

Q: Do you support a constitutional amendment to prevent the burning of the American flag?

KEAN: I believe our flag is a sacred symbol, a monument to freedom and I support a Constitutional Amendment banning the desecration of the American flag.

MENENDEZ: I voted for the flag burning amendment because I believe the flag, as a uniting symbol of our country, should be protected.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate (X-ref Kean) Sep 24, 2006

Robert Menendez: Supports 1-man-1-woman marriage, but don’t take away rights

Q: Do you believe that same sex marriages should be legal?

KEAN: I believe marriage is between one man and one woman but do not support a federal constitutional amendment.

MENENDEZ: I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, but oppose a federal constitutional amendment. The constitution shouldn’t be amended to take away rights.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate (X-ref Kean) Sep 24, 2006

Thomas Kean Jr.: Support merit-based initiatives, not affirmative action

Q: Should the government should take greater account of affirmative action considerations in awarding its contracts?

KEAN: I support merit-based initiatives that recognize the value of diversity and believe we need to ban pay-to-play, which discriminates against minority access to government programs.

MENENDEZ: The federal government has a responsibility to ensure that all businesses have an equal opportunity to compete for contracts - including small, minority and women-owned businesses.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate Sep 24, 2006

Thomas Kean Jr.: Supports Amendment banning flag-burning, a sacred symbol

Q: Do you support a constitutional amendment to prevent the burning of the American flag?

KEAN: I believe our flag is a sacred symbol, a monument to freedom and I support a Constitutional Amendment banning the desecration of the American flag.

MENENDEZ: I voted for the flag burning amendment because I believe the flag, as a uniting symbol of our country, should be protected.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate Sep 24, 2006

Thomas Kean Jr.: Supports 1-man-1-woman marriage, but no Amendment

Q: Do you believe that same sex marriages should be legal?

KEAN: I believe marriage is between one man and one woman but do not support a federal constitutional amendment.

MENENDEZ: I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, but oppose a federal constitutional amendment. The constitution shouldn’t be amended to take away rights.

Source: Hall Institute N.J. Senate Virtual Debate Sep 24, 2006

Jim McGreevey: Consider race and sex in making state contract decisions

Source: 1997 N.J.Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1997

  • The above quotations are from State of New Jersey Politicians: Archives.
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