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N.J. Gov. Christie says voters would support gay marriage referendum

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie took heat last week for suggesting that the voters of New Jersey be allowed, by ballot referendum, to decide whether the state should allow same-sex couples to marry. Marriage supporters in the state vowed to press on through the state's legislature, despite a promised veto from first-term Republican Gov. Christie.

“If a majority of people want it, prove it,” Christie was reported as saying. “Let them vote on it. They’ll get in the privacy of the voting booth and make their choice.”

The statement outraged the state's legislative leaders, who called a press conference to respond to Christie's idea.

Georgia's U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga. 5), an ardent supporter of LGBT rights, recently attended the press conference meant to criticize Christie over his suggestion that the marriage equality issue be put to the voters as a referendum rather than through the state's legislature.

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Marriage equality: New Jersey, Washington, Maryland next?

Washington's Gov. Chris Gregoire

Proactive efforts got underway this month to allow gay couples to marry in at least three more states.

Democratic leaders in the New Jersey legislature announced Jan. 9 their intent to introduce a marriage equality bill. Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D), a long-time supporter of rights for same-sex couples, announced Jan. 4 that she would introduce such a bill in her state.

And in Maryland, where a marriage equality bill passed the state Senate but not the House in March 2011, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has said he will sponsor marriage legislation in 2012 and will take an active role in moving the bill forward this year. And Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) has indicated his chamber will shortly take action on such a measure.

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Gay couples sue for marriage rights in New Jersey

Lambda Legal and Garden State Equality have joined together to sue the state of New Jersey on behalf of seven same-sex couples over harm caused by the state’s unequal civil union system. New Jersey’s civil unio...
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DeKalb spokesperson defends Atlanta man shot in New Jersey gay cruising park

Credit Union of Atlanta CEO Dean Gaymon

The CEO for the Credit Union of Atlanta who was shot and killed by an undercover police officer in a known gay cruising spot in New Jersey on July 16 is being defended by DeKalb County’s chief communications officer.

In a letter to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday, Shelia Edwards, spokesperson for CEO Burrell Ellis, said DeFarra “Dean” Gaymon was “murdered.” No criminal charges have been filed yet in the case. Edwards also said she has volunteered to represent Gaymon’s family.