LifeSiteNews.com

New Jersey Legislature Votes In Favor Of Same-Sex ‘Civil Unions’

LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com

By Meg Jalsevac

  TRENTON, New Jersey, December 15, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - New Jersey’s legislature voted yesterday to label the same-sex partnerships allowed by the State’s Supreme Court earlier this year as ‘civil unions’, joining Vermont and Connecticut as the third state to legally recognize same-sex relationships as “civil unions”.  All three states officially recognize same-sex ‘civil unions’, creating a relationship status that enjoys all the civil privileges of marriage but stops short of actually being called ‘same-sex marriage’.

  As previously reported by LifeSiteNews.com, on October 25 of this year, New Jersey’s Supreme Court voted that same-sex unions were to be officially recognized by the state.  The Court ruled that “committed same sex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.”   The Court left it up to the legislature to determine if the unions would be referred to as ‘civil unions’ or ‘same-sex marriage’. 

  In an effort spearheaded by Senator Loretta Weinberg (D), the proposal passed the Assembly 56 to 19 and the Senate 23 to 12.  The legislation will include ‘civil union’ status in all areas of state law that pertain to civil marriage including inheritance, divorce, custody and power of attorney.

  The bill also mandates the creation of a commission to explore whether New Jersey should legalize same-sex marriage in the future.  Steven Goldstein, director of the gay rights organization Garden State Equality, said that he thought that within two years homosexuals in New Jersey would be able to get married.

  Although happy at what they see as a step to full marriage rights, some members of the homosexual community in New Jersey find the terminology ‘civil unions’ offensive.   Goldstein said, “There are huge mixed emotions.  The law didn’t go far enough and was not marriage equality.” They say that not referring to a same-sex union as a ‘marriage’ makes the union seem inferior to a legal marriage. 

  Weinberg said that she would have lobbied for calling the unions “spousal unions” instead of “civil unions” but she did not think that her fellow Senators would have voted for it.  She also said that the terminology should be changed to “marriage” once the civil unions bill is in effect for long enough to study how successful its application is. 

  On the other hand, those who defend traditional marriage believe that allowing for ‘civil unions’, even if not officially labeled as a marriage, is whittling away at the establishment of traditional marriage.  Speaking of the similar situation when Connecticut approved same-sex ‘civil unions’ in 2005, Glen Lavy, senior vice president of the Alliance Defense Funds’s Marriage Litigation Center, said that lawmakers believe that they “can protect marriage by including a statement that says marriage is only between one man and one woman in legislation that creates civil unions for same-sex couples. This is clearly naive, as proven by media reports of homosexual activist groups that are already stating that they intend to continue to push for full-fledged marriage rights.”

  Lavy continued, “No one can legitimately conclude that these civil unions are anything but marriage with a different name.  No matter what anyone calls it, marriage is, and always will be, a union between a man and a woman.”

  During Massachusetts’s legal battle over “same-sex marriage”, the Massachusetts Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a forceful statement against the institution of ‘civil unions’ saying, “Protecting marriage is more than preserving a name.”

  In 2004, the Vatican’s Cardinal Trujillo said that gay civil unions are “grave signs of dehumanization.”

  New Jersey Governor, Jon Corzine is expected to sign the new bill into law.  Corzine has said that he personally believes that marriage is between one man and one woman but that he would not oppose legislation that allowed for gay marriage should it come before him. 

  Read Related LifeSite Coverage:

  Pastor Speaks Out Against Gay-Marriage in Opening Invocation For NJ Senate Session
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/dec/06121403.html
  New Jersey Supreme Court Orders State to Give Homosexuals All Benefits of “Marriage” Except the Name “Marriage”
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/oct/06102507.html
  Lawyers’ Group Warns Civil Unions is Capitulation, not Compromise on Gay “Marriage”
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/apr/05042604.html
  First Homosexual Civil Union in U.S. Ends after Five Years
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05121605.html
“Civil Unions Do Not Belong in Constitution” Emphasizes US Pro-Family Group
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/aug/05082503.html
  Connecticut Homosexual Activists Use Civil Union Law to Push for Homosexual ‘Marriage’
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/nov/06112305.html
  Gay Civil Unions “Grave Signs of Dehumanization” Says Vatican Cardinal Trujillo
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/nov/04113007.html

Truth. Delivered daily.

Get FREE pro-life, pro-family news delivered straight to your inbox. 

Select Your Edition:


Share this article

Advertisement
Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

Click "like" to support Catholics Restoring the Culture!

“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

Share this article

Advertisement
Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
Image

What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

,

New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, the lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook