Twice, in less than two weeks, Thomas J. Snyder, Esq., a partner in the law firm of Einhorn Harris Ascher Barbarito & Frost, PC and a member of its Matrimonial/Family Law Department testified on behalf of the New Jersey State Bar Association in support of the enactment of the “Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act.”
This act, which was debated in the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, and again on Thursday, February 2, 2012 in front of the New Jersey State Assembly Committee, provides same sex couples with the right to a legally recognized marriage in the State of New Jersey. The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senators Lorretta Weinberg, Raymond J. Lesniak and Stephen M. Sweeney, and in the Assembly by Reed Gusciora, Sheila Y. Oliver, Connie Wagner, Mila M. Jasey, John F. McKeon, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Jason O’Donnell, John S. Wisniewski, Timothy J. Eustace, Patrick, J. Diegnan, Pamela R. Lampitt, Tony Singleton and John Burzichelli.
Mr. Snyder, Esq. , the immediate past Chairman of the state bar association’s family law section testified on behalf of the New Jersey State Bar Association in support of the position that the existing civil union statute does not provide same sex couples with fair and equal treatment as required by the New Jersey Supreme Court in It’s decision in Lewis v.Harris. In the Lewis case, the New Jersey Supreme Court held same sex couples are entitled to the same equal protection as heterosexual couples under the state Constitution. “The [current] Civil Union Statute misses the mark with respect to what was the goal of the Lewis v. Harris decision,” Mr. Snyder stated, it [the statute] is “ineffective” in providing same sex couples with the legal status, “married” where by they could attempt to seek certain federal rights limited only to married couples.
He continued to say: “It’s not about ‘Gay Marriage’, it’s about ‘Equal Marriage’ and that’s what Justice Poritz was talking about in the Lewis v. Harris decision. Labels. Labels form the basis of discrimination.”
When asked about his testimony, Mr. Snyder did not comment on the substance of the issues but did say that: “I thought these are very impressive and historic hearings. Despite the level of intensity and passion on both sides of the issue, the Senate Judiciary Committee and subsequently the Assembly Judiciary Committee handled the process in a very dignified manner.”
The lawyers of the New Jersey law firm of Einhorn, Harris, Ascher, Barbarito & Frost, P.C. practice in a wide variety of areas, including Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation, Criminal Law, Family and Matrimonial Law, Employment Law, Closely-Held Business Law, Trusts & Estates/Taxation, and Real Estate and Zoning. Because of the firm’s years of experience and breadth of practice, these accomplished attorneys offer their clients’ legal services through all of the stages of their lives and all of the phases of their businesses and can handle their case from inception to settlement or trial through appeals. www.einhornharris.com.
Mr. Snyder can be reached for comment or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-586-4917.