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Booker Among 'Mayors for the Freedom to Marry'

Nonpartisan coalition supports ending marriage discrimination

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is one of three mayors in Essex County to join more than 130 nationwide as signatories on the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.

The coalition is described as "a nonpartisan group of mayors who believe that all people should be able to share in the love and commitment of marriage."

Booker joins Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca, South Orange Village President Alex Torpey and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, as well as Michael Bloomberg (New York), Annise Parker (Houston), Michael Nutter (Philadelphia), Jerry Sanders (San Diego) and Antonio Villaraigosa (Los Angeles).

Recently, Gov. Chris Christie called for the state legislature to stop using the issue of same-sex marriage as a "political football," saying that he thinks it should be a ballot initiative, and not decided by the government.

"If New Jersey is looking to overturn hundreds of years of societal, legal and religious tradition, we need to give the issue the weight that it merits," the governor . 

Christie said he will .

Booker, a Democrat, saying that same-sex marriage rights should not be subjected to the "passions of the day."

"No minority should have their rights subjected to the actions and sentiments of the majority," he said at the time. "This is a fundamental bedrock of what our nation stands for."

DeLuca has long been a supporter of marriage equality,, after which he was quoted as saying, "The fight for marriage equality goes on even with this defeat. There will be more court cases and more elections and in the end I believe gay and lesbian couples will have the equal right to get married. I want to let the same sex couples in Maplewood know that I stand with you and always will. We will continue this struggle today, tomorrow and as long as it takes until we are victorious."

When reached by Patch on Monday, Torpey, a registered independent, emphasized that "this is a civil rights issue, not a political issue or partisan issue."

"This is something the legislature needs to pass and the governor needs to sign," said Torpey. "I believe history will look back on those who have the courage to move this issue forward with gratitude, respect and pride."

Click here to view the entire list of mayors who have joined the coalition. Read more about the formation of the group here and here.

– Lia Eustachewich contributed to this report

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