This past weekend, Marquise and I sat down with Bob Zuckerman to film a Video Story. Mr. Zuckerman was a 2009 candidate for the 39th New York City Council District, covering several parts of Brooklyn. Although his campaign wasn’t successful, he would have been the first openly gay elected legislator to represent Brooklyn and has a unique perspective on all the politics, gay and otherwise, going on in New York the past month, as well as the current marriage equality bill in New Jersey.
The New Jersey bill has been delayed a bit for now, but Mr. Zuckerman has some interesting things, both political and personal, to say about the importance of marriage equality in the Garden State. I’ll post his actual IFD Video Story tomorrow, but for now I wanted to share his thoughts with all of you. Continue Reading for the transcript.
Well this is, this is what’s going on in New Jersey now. Because I don’t know if you’re following it at all, but New Jersey’s about to take up the same-sex marriage bill, this week, that’s right.
God willing, if it passes the State Senate then it goes to the Assembly. There is a chance, there’s a 50/50 chance, that we can pull this off in New Jersey. If we don’t, it’s at least a 4-year wait, if not an 8-year wait, because the incoming governor is hostile towards the community and towards same-sex marriage.
If we’re so fortunate to pass marriage equality in New Jersey in the next month, New York, actually Governor Paterson and if we wind up with another governor named Cuomo, he is, he would do the same thing. New York State recognizes marriages–same-sex marriages–that were legally done in another state. So for example, if someone gets married in Connecticut, two women or two men get married in Connecticut but live in New York, New York State will recognize that of purposes of New York State laws, which is terrific.
The reason we don’t want to get married in Connecticut or Massachusetts or Vermont is, we don’t have any connections, I mean, they’re great states, but we don’t have any connections to those states. Our families aren’t there, we don’t have a ton of friends there, I mean, it wouldn’t be meaningful for us. If we were able to get married in New Jersey, that would be nice. My family’s there, I grew up there, that would be more meaningful. And then, come back to New York and have the state recognize our marriage.
You know, we were at a straight friend’s wedding a few years ago and I remember him telling us on the dance floor that night, he said, “You know what,” he said, “You know what, you know guys why I want you guys to be able to get married?” He said, “Because there is nothing like being able to demonstrate for your, for your spouse and the person you love the most in front of all your family and friends. There’s nothing like that.” He said, “And I want you to be able to do that. And there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to do that.” And that really stuck with me.
Civil unions aren’t the same. Domestic partnerships aren’t the same. There’s one institution that this country and that most of the industrialized world recognizes for two people who love each other, who are in a committed relationship to share their life together, and that’s marriage.