In a nation where women continue to face legal, financial and social discrimination, the failure of New Jersey’s civil union law to provide equality compounds that discrimination. In New Jersey, two-thirds of all civil union couples are women couples.
Garden State Equality’s fight for marriage equality in New Jersey is of immediate benefit to women, many of whom are raising adopted or biological children, and all of whom deserve equal protection under the law.
Garden State Equality has a formidable Women’s Caucus. If you’d like to get involved in Garden State Equality and its Women’s Caucus, email us at Women@GardenStateEquality.org with your name and phone number, or call us at (973) GSE-LGBT.
According to a report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, today’s gender wage gap results in female workers earning, on average, only 80 percent of what their male counterparts are making.
This gender discrimination is compounded in a household with two female wage-earners. The effect is disproportionately less economic protection of the family unit, leaving women in civil unions unduly at risk for not being able to care properly for themselves or their children if, for instance, their employer refuses health care coverage because the couple is not married.
Garden State Equality hears poignant stories from women every day about the importance of marriage equality.
They include women who have been partnered for decades, raising children with disabilities who desperately need the economic relief that comes from full access to health insurance.
They include mothers of LGBT children who dream of dancing at their child’s wedding when their children can get married.
They include LGBT women of color, historically been excluded from marriage because of their race and are still excluded because of their sexual orientation.
They include economically underprivileged women who want and need the protections and rights that come with marriage, and who know first-hand that employers and governmental agencies still refuse to regard civil unions as equal.
They include transgender women whose relationships to their partners will be in limbo until all couples, regardless of gender identity or expression, share the same terminology – marriage – for their committed relationships.
Women have for too long been denied by the government their freedom to choose their own relationships. Civil unions are simply a modern day iteration of this injustice.