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Monday, May 21, 2007

Garden State Equality has received 102 cases of employers and insurers not respecting the New Jersey civil unions law



As just announced by New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, there have been 852 civil unions in New Jersey since the law took effect on February 19, 2007.
During the same 90 days, Garden State Equality has received 102 cases of employers and insurers not respecting the New Jersey civil unions law. That's nearly 1 in 8, a shocking 12 percent record of failure. And those are just the cases Garden State Equality has received.


Monday, May 21, 2007 -- Moments ago, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services announced that 852 couples have gotten civil-unioned in New Jersey in the first ninety days of the civil unions law. During the same 90 days, Garden State Equality received 102 complaints of a civil union not being recognized by an employer or insurer in New Jersey. Today, in fact, Garden State Equality received its 103rd complaint. The failure rate is nearly 1 in 8, or 12 percent.

Asked Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality: "What society would ever tolerate a law that fails 12 percent of the time? If New Jersey's civil unions law were a person, it would be arrested for committing fraud."

Among the cases that have come to Garden State Equality: When a woman told her employer she got civil-unioned, the company said, We're not going to provide benefits. We still need the word "marriage" and you two aren't married. The human resources department even said: "Nothing has changed."

The two women, together 16 years, have adopted three special needs children. New Jersey should be celebrating such couples. Instead, civil-unioned couples across New Jersey are still being denied equal protection of the law.

New Jersey is proving that the common definition of civil unions -- that they provide all the state rights of marriage simply without the word marriage -- is a ruse. In fact, everyday civil unions threaten gay couples with the risk of none of the rights of marriage.

"For those who ask, 'So long as same-sex couples get the rights, who cares what it's called?' the New Jersey experience has answered the question once and for all," Goldstein said. "Unless a couple's relationship is given the imprimatur of marriage, that couple may never see the rights. Marriage is the only admissions ticket to equality universally recognized in the real world. It's the only currency of commitment the real world always accepts."

If you're a same-sex couple whose New Jersey civil union is not being recognized, please contact Garden State Equality's hotline at (973) GSE-LGBT or email us at Contact@GardenStateEquality.org with your name and phone number.

If you'd like to support Garden State Equality's campaign for marriage equality, join us at SUMMERTIME: RIO 2007! on Monday, June 25 at 6:30 pm at Moonstruck in Asbury Park. Tickets are on sale now at

http://eqfed.org/gse/events/summertime07/details.tcl

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