Image via WikipediaTRENTON — Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage showed up to Trenton today for competing rallies but kept their distance from each other.
The groups were flexing their muscle in anticipation that the state Supreme Court will hear a case from six same-sex couples in civil unions who want the right to marry. They argue that civil unions have not provided the equal rights the court mandated in a 2006 decision that led to the legislative creation of civil unions.
“We have a different message from our opponents today. Outside is a message of hate and prejudice,” said Garden State Equality Chairman Steven Goldstein.
Several same-sex couples with children spoke about how much harder it was for kids whose parents are not allowed to be married.
“Kids in elementary school, in middle school and high school make fun of kids who are different, and that’s just the way it is,” said Miriam Sharpfried, a 19-year-old college student who said she was hurt when, as an eight-year-old, she found out her two mothers were not allowed to be married. “And how can you expect an eight-year-old to explain what a civil union is when most people in this room, adults, can’t explain what a civil union is.”
Opponents bristled at the suggestion they were prejudiced. National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown equated the fight against gay marriage to the civil rights struggle of the 1960s by invoking Martin Luther King, Jr.
“What if Martin Luther King, Jr. would have listened to those who tried to silence him and tell him that his faith has no place in the public square — that he should be silent?” said Brown. “You are a part of a new civil rights group – a civil rights group dedicated to protecting the most fundamental and basic institution known to mankind: marriage.”
Brown said his group came to Trenton because he feared “judicial activism” by the state Supreme Court.
N.J. groups rally in Trenton to support, protest gay marriage | NJ.com