Atlantic City has elected its first openly gay Republican. Don Guardian, who has been the city’s Special Improvement District for 20 years, won a campaign that focused on the city’s large Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Vietnamese populations who not only play a large part as business owners, but also work as casino workers. He also worked closely with teachers and young business owners. The 60-year-old Republican called the victory “humbling.” “I want to bring the city together,” Guardian said. “I want to be a mayor for everybody.” Guardian’s victory came as a surprise, even to Guardian, who joked that his partner, Louis Fatato, was going to have to bring him back down to earth on Wednesday by making him cook and clean. [PressofAC]
The New Jersey Superior Court judge that ruled that the state of New Jersey must allow same-sex marriage by October 21 has refused to delay her ruling after Governor Chris Christie requested a delay. Christie said a delay “would simply allow the state to continue to violate the equal protection rights of New Jersey same-sex couples, which can hardly be considered a public interest.” Judge Mary Jacobson refused to delay allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry on October 21st because, according to the AP, “[gays and lesbians] would suffer many hardships of constitutional magnitude if the stay were to be issued, but the state has not demonstrated how it would suffer in any meaningful way if the order is enforced,” the AP .
Christie, though, continues to go against the majority of New Jerseyians (62%) who are in favor of marriage equality. He will most likely appeal the ruling to the state supreme court.
“While this is an amazing decision, it is far from over,” Garden State Equality Executive Director Troy Stevenson said via an email statement. “We still must fight on both fronts, the legislative route and the courts. The fastest way to win this year is still to pass marriage equality through the Legislature.”
New Jersey Democrats are pushing their Republican colleagues to legislate same-sex marriage. Their aim is to pressure moderate Republicans to join them in their effort to override Governor Chris Christie’s gay marriage veto. Democrats in New Jersey require Republican votes to override any of Christie’s vetoes. While some Republicans support gay marriage, they are hesitant to make the attempt to override the governor. Senate President Steve Sweeney, who promised that an override vote would be scheduled, has not said when. No override has been attempted since the governor vetoed a gay marriage bill last year.
Gay rights activists in New Jersey are pursuing court actions simultaneously to win the right for gays and lesbians to marry. New Jersey is among just a few states that recognize civil unions, and give same-sex couples marital benefits, but not full marriage equality. [NBCPhil]
A high school senior from Parsippany, New Jersey, Jacob Rudolph is using his new-found YouTube fame for coming out in front of his entire class to garner more than 27,000 signatures calling on Gov. Chris Christie to back pending legislation banning the use of controversial gay “conversion” therapy on minors. This horrible practice attempts to ‘cure’ the sexual orientation of LGBT children.
“Every single day, kids across the state are forced to lie or feel shame about who they really are for fear of being rejected by their families and friends, or worse, being forced to undergo harmful ‘therapy’ intended to fix what is not broken,” said New Jersey teen Jacob Rudolph, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “I’m incredibly lucky to have parents who love me just the way I am. I hope Governor Christie agrees with my parents, and the more than 27,000 people who have signed my petition, that all New Jersey kids deserve to be loved and protected.”
Video of Rudolph after the jump…
“The Newark archbishop is urging more than one million Roman Catholics in northern New Jersey, especially Catholic politicians, to defend marriage against those he says would ‘deconstruct or radically alter its meaning’. In a pastoral statement Tuesday, Archbishop John Myers said equating same-sex marriage to marriage as ‘it has traditionally been understood’ damages the institutions of both marriage and family.’ He says redefining marriage would “enshrine in law a non-optimal way to raise children as equivalent to that which is best.’ Myers says Catholics who disagree with church teachings on marriage should refrain from receiving Holy Communion.” Read the entire story here.
We’re big fans of Atlantic City, having spent a few weekends here and there and here and there, so we’re obviously thrilled that the only, full-time gay bar located in a casino is celebrating its one-year anniversary this weekend. A little over a year ago, when we caught wind of the changes going on over at the historic Resorts Casino Hotel, we had to get the inside scoop so we sat down with the gaming industry’s first marketing director devoted strictly to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, Joel Ballesteros who was super-excited to announce the birth of the then-called Prohibition nightclub. Now, after a name change, the club is called Pro Bar, and its attracting a fun crowd of locals and tourists alike. This weekend’s celebration will feature all sorts of exciting events, including performances by stand-up comedienne Judy Tenuta, and the vivacious Chrystal Waters . There will also be a drag bingo brunch, giveaways, and even more special appearances. Get all the info about this weekend and special discounts by clicking here.
This just in. Chris Christie has vetoed Gay Marriage in New Jersey. Gay and lesbian Americans are appalled by his actions. Discrimination of this sort has no place in the United States of America. Our hearts go out to everyone in New Jersey and we vow to keep fighting for Marriage Equality until it is passed on a Federal level.
Read the CBS News report here.
Yesterday afternoon in a 41-33 vote, the New Jersey Assembly passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriages, despite warnings from Governor Chris Christie that he will veto such legislation. While most Republicans, including Christie, feel that the issue of same-sex marriage should be left up to voters, Democrats say that marriage is a civil right and should “not be subject to referendum.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today nominated Bruce A. Harris for a seat on the state’s Supreme Court. If confirmed, Harris will be the first LGBT person and third African American to sit on the Supreme Court. HRC President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement in response to the nomination: “We congratulate Bruce Harris on his nomination to the highest court in New Jersey and applaud Governor Christie for choosing a highly qualified candidate. It sends a powerful message that LGBT people can and do contribute to our communities in a variety of capacities. Courts around the country are greatly lacking in LGBT diversity and with thousands of qualified LGBT attorneys in the US, we look forward to the day when our courts better reflect the composition of our country.”
Harris currently serves as mayor of Borough of Chatham, an office to which he was elected in November 2011 after serving for seven years as a member of the Borough Council.