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.”
Tamara Wilson-Seidle was shot and killed in Asbury Park by her ex-husband, Neptune Township Police Sgt Philip Seidle. Philip is awaiting trial on the murder and faces life in prison. Tami’s Legaciesis a facebook community set up to look after the nine Seidle children.
Kissing Brides, Heather Jensen and Amy Quinn, an Asbury Park Councilwoman, celebrate their marriage shortly after midnight on October 21.2013 facebook photo
The United States Supreme Court made history Friday when it ruled that same-sex couples can get married in all 50 states. There were two questions at hand. One, does the Constitution force states to marry same-sex couples? And two, does it require states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states? The court decided that states must… Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
Rob and Linda Robertson did what they believed was expected of them as good Christians. When their 12-year-old son Ryan said he was gay, they told him they loved him, but he had to change. He entered “reparative therapy,” met regularly with his pastor and immersed himself in Bible study and his church youth group. After… Read the rest of this entry »
In a stunning departure from the church’s long-held stance on controversial social issues, the Vatican’s bishops are calling for a far more pastoral approach to the Catholic church’s doctrine, according to a new document published Monday. In its report, The Extraordinary General Assembly Synod of Bishops seemed to have tabled a “lifestyle ecumenism” as Boston Globe… Read the rest of this entry »
As 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.
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.
Same Sex Nuptials Are Now Certain To Remain Legal in New Jersey
Kissing Brides, Heather Jensen and Amy Quinn, an Asbury Park Councilwoman, celebrate their marriage shortly after midnight this morning. facebook photo
Given the State Supreme Court’s signal that the Christie administration would not prevail in its appeal of Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision compelling the State to grant same sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples, Governor Chris Christie withdrew his appeal today, the first day that gay couples can wed in New Jersey under Jacobson’s order and the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay that order.
“Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law,” said Colin Reed, a spokesman for Christie. “The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”
State Senator Mike Doherty issued a statement condemning Christie for caving to the activist judiciary.