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Two N.J.
lawmakers move to resolve marriage question

Two N.J.
lawmakers move to resolve marriage question

Two New Jersey lawmakers have introduced opposing bills in the state legislature in response to the state supreme court's ruling in favor of same-sex unions, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Friday.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat from Mercer County, has proposed civil marriages for "any two couples committed to a permanent relationship." His bill would also allow for religious institutions to abstain from recognizing such unions, which he claims is the central issue at stake in the larger debate surrounding marriage laws: "This bill defines marriages as civil and religious, instead of gay and straight," Gusciora said. "By defining it in such a way, we are protecting the values traditionally associated with marriage while also extending equal rights to all New Jersey couples."

Across the political spectrum, Assemblyman Richard Merkt, a Republican from Morris County, has proposed impeaching the supreme court justices who were responsible for this month's ruling, alleging judicial misconduct by all seven justices.

Though Merkt acknowledged the slim chances of his proposal clearing all the necessary procedural hurdles, he still hoped to spark further debate on the state of marriage and the role of the courts in policy making: "[This ruling] is the latest example of what has been a chronic problem in New Jersey for the past six decades," the Inquirer quoted him as saying. "The court has evolved into a judicial bully." (The Advocate)

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