The Assembly Judiciary Committee released a bill Thursday that expands the number of people authorized to solemnize marriages or civil unions in the state.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-17) of Somerset, would grant the power to officiate at such ceremonies to any judge whether from federal district court to tax court, magistrates, retired judges, surrogates, county clerks, mayors or deputy mayors, township committee chair people, any clergy member, and any celebrant certified by the Celebrant Foundation and Institute.
It was the inclusion of the last entity, the non-profit, Montclair-based Institute, that drew the attention of the committee.
The Institute, which traces its roots to a movement in the 1970s in Australia and New Zealand, runs an eight-month training program for its candidates who then essentially function as independent businesspeople officiating at “womb to tomb life events,’’ according to Charlotte Eulette, the Foundation’s international director.
In fact, the Foundation and Chivukula both presented this legislation as an economic measure. The Foundation informed the committee it has more than 50 celebrants in New Jersey, some of whom earn more than $50,000 a year, performing approximately 1,500 weddings as well as other ceremonies annually.
They say that in this day and age when there are more interfaith couples as well as more non-church-affiliated relationships, the need for a Foundation such as theirs is growing.
Chivukula said he will take into consideration for amendments concerns of committee members that the law not be worded to exclude other similar types of organizations.
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15) of Trenton abstained, saying that he wants to see more progress first on efforts toward marriage equality laws in the state.
At an Edison school house earlier today, a child mistook Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) for Gov. Chris Christie.Read More >
Colorado politicians invite Christie to experience 'Rocky Mountain High'Colorado politicians slapped back at Gov. Chris Christie after he questioned their Rocky Mountain quality of life under the rule of legalized marijuana.“Whether it’s hiking season or snow season, we invite Gov. Christie to experience Colorado’s quality of life anytime," Sen....
By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >
“The good news of tonight is that these problems are fixable.” - Gov. Chris Christie- PolitickerNJ.com
Press releases are submitted by PolitickerNJ users, not by staff. They do not represent the viewpoint of PolitickerNJ.com.