In this video press release, Assembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) addresses members of the General Assembly during the floor debate on the marriage equality legislation he sponsored.
The "Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act" (A-1) would eliminate the civil unions that have been in place in New Jersey since 2007 but have failed to provide equal treatment to the state's same-sex couples and instead define marriage as the legally recognized union of two consenting people in a committed relationship.
It also expressly stipulates that no clergy of any religion authorized to solemnized marriage, nor any religious society, institution or organization in the state would be required to conduct any marriage in violation of their free exercise of religion.
The measure received final legislative approval in the Assembly by a vote of 42-33.
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