(WASHINGTON, D.C.) /PRNewswire/ The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Monday to advance the state's genderless marriage bill to the full Senate for consideration. Speaking before the Committee, Julian Bond, chair of the NAACP, claimed it is unconstitutional to deny homosexuals marriage because "like our race, sexuality isn't a preference. It's immutable and unchangeable."
"Contrary to Bond's statement equating skin color with homosexual behavior, major scientific studies and mental health associations have stated homosexuality is not innate," said Regina Griggs, director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX). "No scientific evidence has found a 'gay gene.' No DNA or medical test can determine if a person is homosexual. Sexual orientation is a matter of self-affirmation and public declaration. Many African-Americans have come out of homosexuality, proving sexual orientation can change, but skin color does not."
"New Jersey State Senator Barbara Buono also endorses gay marriage, but refuses to recognize any rights for ex-gays and denies their very existence," said Griggs. "During the debate of Buono's bill to revise New Jersey's hate crimes law to include gender identity, Senator Anthony Bucco offered an amendment to include ex-homosexuals."
But Senator Buono rejected the amendment to protect former homosexuals.
Said Buono, “Now, I'm not sure what that means. I think the best that can be said respectfully is that it is misguided to suggest that someone can choose their sexual orientation and then change their mind.... It underscores the need for hate crimes legislation which offers protection against this sort of misconception that really helps to fuel hurtful prejudices and biased crimes.”
"Senator Buono not only denied the existence of an entire minority, but also proposed that hate crimes 'protections' ban individual self-determination," said Griggs. "Buono insists that people can choose their gender and such actions must be protected under 'gender identity.' Thus, transgenders are affirmed for changing their gender but former homosexuals are ridiculed for changing their sexual orientation, and offered no protection at all."
"Senator Buono was elected to represent all of the people in her district -- not just gay activists," said Greg Quinlan, a former homosexual from New Jersey. "While Buono endorses hate crime laws that exclude ex-gays and sponsors genderless marriage in the name of equality, she refuses to afford the same rights to ex-gays."