Posts Tagged 'State Senate'

Floor Vote on Gay Marriage Scheduled for Thursday

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Last night, the New Jersey State Senate Judiciary committee passed legislation legalizing gay marriage by a 7-6 vote. Republican Bill Baroni, pictured right, was the decisive vote. The bill will now face a full floor vote on Thursday. My gut prediction is that this will fail, much like it failed last week in New York. Two Democrats, Committee Chair Paul Sarlo and Vice Committee Chair John Girgenti, voted against the bill in committee and getting this to 21 votes in the full Senate will be difficult. Most likely, the Democrats just want to be able to say they took action.

I never write much, if anything ever, about social issues. Social issues are not what wake me up in the morning. However, since the State Senate is considering the legislation, and it is the most high profile issue confronting our elected representatives, I suppose I will weigh in. This type of social engineering is the province of the voters. If they want gay marriage, so be it. If they do not, so be it. Marriage is not a civil institution. Defining marriage is not one of the two or three essential functions of government and it should be up to the people to decide what type of society they want to live in.

If this issue were confronting me via the initiative and referendum, I would probably vote no. Government does not exist to define personal relationships. Expanding the definition of marriage to include same sex couples would expand the power of government to create and bestow rights. There is nothing stopping a gay couple from buying two rings and calling each other a married couple. What they want is the official government signed, sealed and approved piece of paper saying they are married. Why do we want government to have that type of power over our lives? The pro-gay marriage side argues this is a fundamental issue of liberty but how free are you in a world where you have to obtain an official permission slip from the government in order to call you and your partner a married couple?


Good signs for New Jersey Conservatives

Author: Rory B. Bellows

While Steve Lonegan looks like he may come up short in the primary, two conservative members of the legislature look like they will beat back establishment Republicans. In the 23rd district State Senate race, Michael Doherty is on the verge of defeating Marcia Karrow. Karrow attacked Doherty for supporting true conservative Ron Paul in the 2008 Presidential election and question his patriotism because of Dr. Paul’s misgivings about the military adventurism in Iraq. Libertarian conservative Assembleymen Michael Patrick Carroll looks like he will hold on to his seat in the face of establishment challengers who are backed by party officials who want more go along to get along Republicans in the legislature.

A great day for freedom in the Stalinist state of New Jersey

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Two- count ’em two!- victories for individual liberty were achieved in yesterday’s session of the state senate. A rarity to be sure, these were the first two victories for freedom and liberty in New Jersey since Washington crossed the Delaware, as the state senate approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes and a bill stalled that would have restricted residents to one handgun purchase a month. Heroically, every state senate Republcian voted against the handgun bill, but unfortunately did not vote for the medical marijuana bill.

There was an opportunity yesterday for the Republican Party of New Jersey to establish its bona fides as the party of limited government and individual liberty but they only go it half right.

No matter, all residents of New Jersey should celebrate victories of the individual over the state. Smoke ’em if ya got ’em!

Medical Marijuana wins state senate committee approval

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Patients using marijuana for medicinal purposes won a 6-1 vote in the State Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

This seems like an easy issue. Patients should be free to seek whatever medical care they desire. Even if one wishes to make the thin arguments that is there is harm in marijauna use, the supposed harm is done to no one other than the patient. This is not a case of “rights” or a group looking for special protections, this is a simple case of freedom and individual liberty.

Ethics Reform Stalled in State Senate

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Bill Baroni’s (R-Mercer) proposed legislation that would prevent lawmakers from holding positions such as municipal attorney or engineer has stalled in the State Senate. This is another reform designed to cut down on multiple pensions, lawmakers establishing their own fiefdoms and opening up these positions to actual competition as opposed to political payback, has stalled in the Democratically controlled senate.

This bill makes too much sense so it shouldn’t be any shocker it won’t be enacted.