Sonnek-Schmelz Blasts RNC Over Gay Marriage

Brent Sonnek-Schmelz at the Pink Prom in Asbury Park, May 7. photo via facebook

Brent Sonnek-Schmelz at the Pink Prom in Asbury Park, May 7. photo via facebook

Brent Sonnek-Schmelz, the GOP candidate challenging Congressman Frank Pallone in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District (Middlesex and Monmouth Counties), criticized the Republican National Committee for falling to soften its stand against gay marriage.

“Let me be blunt, the Republican National Convention’s Platform Committee did a terrible disservice to the Republican Party, by failing to recognize a clearly self­evident diversity of opinion within our ranks on the issue of same-sex marriage,” said Sonnek­-Schmelz, pointing to a failed amendment offered by openly gay Washington, DC Delegate Rachel Hoff. “How can we expect men and women who share our beliefs on lower taxes, balanced budgets, school choice and a strong national defense to stand with the Republican Party, when the Party won’t stand with them when it comes to something so basic as the ability to marry someone you love? We can and must do better. I am eager to be part of a new generation of Republicans with the courage to continue changing hearts and minds on this issue by making my voice heard.”

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Posted: July 13th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Congressional elections, 2016 Elections, Brent Sonnek-Schmelz, Frank Pallone, Gay Marriage, Gender Equality, Monmouth County News, Republican Nation Convention 2016, Republican Party, Same Sex Marriage | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage expires Jan. 6 � or not


MIAMI — Facing an apparent Jan. 6 deadline to start marrying same-sex couples in Florida, county clerks throughout the state have gotten mixed messages about whether they need to obey a federal judge’s ruling that the state gay-marriage ban is unconstitutional. Come Jan. 6, Florida may become the 36th state in which same-sex couples can get… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Civil Rights, Gay Marriage, Same Sex Marriage | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage expires Jan. 6 � or not

Gay Marriage and The Church

By Bader George Qarmont

Bader-Qarmout-portrait-picAs New Jersey became the 14th state in the Union to license gay marriage, I am left wondering why and what is next. Will this judicial activism have any impact on churches? Some may think I am over reacting, but I fear that the church is 15-25 years away from being forced to perform same sex marriage or risk losing tax exemption for discrimination. A Pastor threating to close his church doors before doing so, is no threat at all.

If a church wants to continue to practice the Biblical definition of marriage, it needs to protect itself.  I see a potential for litigation to force a church to marry same sex couples, as is already happening in England. Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, The gay plaintiff in the legal challenge in England said “The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church.” It is a matter of time before American churches are also legally challenged.  

Currently most churches will marry non-members in a religious ceremony at the church, this practice must end immediately and new policy implemented as soon as possible.  I believe churches should have a policy to only marry members.  In order to be a member each person must sign a statement of faith that includes acceptance of the Biblical definition of marriage. Anyone can attend the church but only members can be married in the church.

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Posted: November 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Bader George Qarmout, Gay Marriage, marriage, Marriage Equality, Opinion, Religion, Same Sex Marriage | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Democratic Leader Wants No Religious Exceptions For Gay Marriage

Kissing Brides, Heather Jensen and Amy Quinn, an Asbury Park Councilwoman, celebrate their marriage shortly after midnight on October 21.  facebook photo

Kissing Brides, Heather Jensen and Amy Quinn, an Asbury Park Councilwoman, celebrate their marriage shortly after midnight on October 21. facebook photo

Assembly Minority Leader Lou Greenwald told The Star Ledger that Assembly Democrats are not likely to pass legislation that would protect clergy and religious organizations from being forced to perform same sex marriages and accommodate the ceremonies.

What’s less clear is what the Legislature is going to do about gay marriage. Right now, gay couples can get married in New Jersey. But that right hangs on a decision made at the Superior Court level, since the state Supreme Court never decided the case.

Lawmakers could try to override Christie’s 2012 veto of gay marriage legislation or write a new bill to encode it into law. Or they could do nothing — an option they say is looking more attractive.

Greenwald said the Assembly is leaning against an override because, even if they cobbled together the two-thirds majority they’d need to pull it off, a religious exemption provision that was inserted into the bill to win Republican support could actually restrict rights gay couples have under the court ruling.

“The answer probably is no,” Greenwald said of the override. “Right now in New Jersey, the opinion seems to be that we have the strongest marriage equality laws in the country.”

Early last year the New Jersey Legislature passed the Marriage Equality and Religious Exceptions Act which, if it had been signed by Governor Chris Christie, would have granted same sex couples the right to marry and recognized the First Amendment Right of clergy and religious societies, organizations and institutions not to solemnize gay marriage or provide space, goods, services, advantages or privileges for gay marriage ceremonies.  The Act would have provided immunity from civil law suits against religious organizations that refused to accommodate gay marriages.

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Posted: November 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Gay Marriage, Marriage Equality, Marriage Equality and Religious Exemptions Act, Same Sex Marriage | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Both GOP Candidates Favor Marriage Equality

The two candidates competing for the Republican nomination to complete the late U. S. Senator Frank Lautenberg’s term favor same sex marriage being legal.

Reacting to the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan said,

“Today’s decision is the unfortunate result of an activist, liberal court that has little respect for the Constitution and our nation’s founding principles. While I believe government should not be in the business of marriage, it is not the Supreme Court’s responsibility to make that decision. Laws should be made by legislatures, not by unelected judges. To do so is a usurpation of our democratic tradition at the heart of this country’s founding.”

I wonder if Lonegan would have called the decision “unfortunate” if the Court ruled that the government should not be in the business of marriage.

UPDATE  A few readers have mentioned that Lonegan’s statement does not make it clear that he favors marriage equality.  Here it is: While I believe government should not be in the business of marriage ….

If government doesn’t regulate marriage and who can get married, than same sex couples can be married.

Dr. Alieta Eck said,

“While I personally believe that traditional marriage is an important institution to defend, the Supreme Court was correct in rejecting a federal attempt to define it. Marriage is a religious institution. There was a time when the general consensus agreed with organized religion, but those times have passed. We must never abandon the Constitution in guarding equal protection and free association under the law.”

The four candidates competing for the Democratic Senate nomination, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Congressman Frank Pallone, Congressman Rush Holt and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver also support marriage equality.

The Democratic and Republican nominations for Senate will be decided in special primaries to be held on August 13.  The new senator will be elected in a special election to be held on October 16.


Posted: July 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Gay Marriage, marriage, Marriage Equality, Primary Election, Same Sex Marriage, Senate Special Election | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

SCOTUS: Same Sex Marriage Is Legal In California

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on jurisdictional grounds that the Supreme Court of California had the right to overturn the Proposition 8 referendum to amended the State’s which made same sex marriage illegal.

The effect of the ruling is that same sex marriage is legal in California.

From SCOTUSblog:

Here’s a Plain English take on Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage:  After the two same-sex couples filed their challenge to Proposition 8 in federal court in California, the California government officials who would normally have defended the law in court, declined to do so.  So the proponents of Proposition 8 stepped in to defend the law, and the California Supreme Court (in response to a request by the lower court) ruled that they could do so under state law.  But today the Supreme Court held that the proponents do not have the legal right to defend the law in court.  As a result, it held, the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the intermediate appellate court, has no legal force, and it sent the case back to that court with instructions for it to dismiss the case

Posted: June 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Marriage Equality, Same Sex Marriage, SCOTUS | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Supreme Court Declares DOMA Unconstitutional

The United States Supreme Court has the struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as an unconstitutional violation of the 5th Amendment’s protection of equal liberty.

“DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled of recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty.”

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.  By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others.”

The 5-4 decision was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The Court’s 76 page decision can be downloaded here.


Posted: June 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Marriage Equality, Same Sex Marriage, SCOTUS, U.S. Supreme Court | Tags: , | 7 Comments »

Q Poll: New Jersey Wants to Reelect Christie, Divided On Presidential Bid

Partisan control preference of State Legislature narrows

Support for same-sex marriage grows strongly

New Jersey voters’ affections for Governor Chris Christie are not waning, according to a Quinnipiac Poll released this morning.

70% approve of the Christie’s job performance, including 48% of Democrats.  66% think he deserves to be reelected.  Democrats narrowly side with reelecting the governor, 44%-43% with 13% unsure or not answering.

The 13% of unsure Democrats may not know who Barbara Buono is. “Corzine’s Budget Chair,” as Christie refers to the presumed Democratic gubernatorial nominee on the stump, is unknown by 79% of the electorate, including 79% of Democrats.  Of the 20% who know of Buono, only half view her favorably.  Buono’s name recognition ticked up 4 points since Q’s February poll when only half of the then 16% of voters viewed her favorably.  If this trend continues through November, Buono will be known by 56% of the voters, 28% of whom will view her unfavorably.

If the election were held today, Christie would win, 60%-25%.

41% think Christie would make a good president.  44% think he would not make a good president. 15% are unsure.  46% would like to see him run for president in 2016, 47% would rather he did not.

On the question of which party should control the State Legislature, the Democrats still win, but the trend has been moving towards the Republican Party since November.  Currently 43% favor Democratic control, 42% favor Republican control and 15% are not sure.

Support for same-sex marriage in New Jersey has grown strongly since last May when 53% told Quinnipiac they favored it and 42% opposed it.  In today’s poll, 60% favor same-sex marriage and 30% oppose.

Posted: March 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, Barbara Buono, Chris Christie, Gay Marriage, Quinnipiac poll, Same Sex Marriage | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

My fellow Republicans: Abortion takes an innocent life – same sex marriage does not

By Alan Steinberg

I am a pro-life person and opposed to abortion, except in order to save the life of the mother. Many times, my beliefs on social and moral issues are based on Orthodox Judaism, my religion, Orthodox Judaism is somewhat complex on the abortion issue, although far more pro-life than pro-choice. My pro-life views, however, are based upon my own study of the science of the issue. I believe that a fetus is life, and since I venerate life, I oppose abortion, except to save the life of the mother.

By the way, there have been over the years a multitude of statements, including from that great Torah sage, Gloria Allred, claiming that on the abortion issue, Judaism is pro-choice. While my political and moral beliefs on abortion are not based upon the Torah and the tenets of Orthodox Judaism, they are not inconsistent with them either. If somebody wants to read a short, concise summary of Orthodox Judaism and the abortion issue, I recommend the following page from the Aish HaTorah website:


My views on the same sex marriage issue are another matter.

Orthodox Judaism is vehemently anti-homosexuality. Yet I read something recently on the Chabad Lubavitch website which really hit home with me: “Torah law expressly forbids the specific act of male homosexuality. And we do know this: Torah law forbids bigotry; homophobia is prohibited.”

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Posted: February 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Abortion, Alan Steinberg, Gay Marriage, marriage, Marriage Equality, Same Sex Marriage | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Is Mitt Romney “Evil?”

Mother Jones, an extreme left wing website that solicits tax deductible contributions to sustain itself, posted a series of videos of Mitt Romney speaking at a fundraiser in the Florida home of private equity manager Marc Leder this past May.

In the first video, Romney speaks candidly about the challenge he faces in the general election.  He notes that Obama starts out with a significant advantage…the 47% of Americans who don’t pay taxes and , he says, think health care, food and housing should be provided to them as a government funded entitlement.  Romney notes that his challenge is to win over the 5% of Independent voters who like Obama personally but are disappointed with his performance.


Is this “evil”?

Steven Goldstein, the CEO of another non-profit that solicits tax deductible contributions, the same sex marriage advocates Garden State Equality thinks so. I’d link you to Garden State Equality’s website, but Google says the site is dangerous to your computer.  Really.  On his facebook page Goldstein characterises Romney as evil.  He says Romney’s remarks are “one of the most hateful speeches in U.S. Presidential candidate history.”

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Posted: September 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, Art Gallagher, Garden State Equality, Gay Marriage, Gender Equality, marriage, Marriage Equality, Mitt Romney, Same Sex Marriage, Social Media, Steven Goldstein | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments »