via Blanton's and Ashton's
"The heat is on the New Jersey state legislature as New Jersey's gay rights advocates begin a ten-day campaign to promote marriage equality. Following on the heels of a NJ Supreme Court ruling that judged the current set of rules to be unconstitutional, the legislature was given 180 days to establish fair and equal laws for the state's gay population with respect to the legal benefits accorded married couples. The court left it open as to what the legal entity should be called and only required that rights under the new laws must be equal. The legislature and the governor favor civil union legislation to satisfy the state Supreme's ruling, but New Jersey's gay rights advocates see this as an opportunity to be the second state, after Massachusetts, to allow full equality.
Advocacy groups are urging citizens to contact their legislators during the next ten days and express their support for full and equal marriage rights.
Though the legislation is expected to define civil unions and not marriage, those pressing for equal rights have some supporters in the legislature, including Mercer County assemblymember Reed Gusciora, who has represented his district for eleven years.
In related news, the state Senate passed a law yesterday that legalizes six months of persistent "irreconcilable differences" as a grounds for divorce. Marriage equality advocates deny that the campaign for full and equal rights was held off until they could be sure this new law, known among insiders as the "I hate the way you butter your toast" law, was certain of passage and could provide an escape hatch for newly married gay couples who find out what heterosexuals have known for years.
If you are a New Jersey resident and would like to contact your legislator and make your support for marriage equality known, you can find out who your legislator is and how to contact him or her at the New Jersey State Legislature's web site. Poke around the page a little. You'll find what you need."