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Bill to protect interracial marriage passes N.J. Assembly, heads to Senate

Published Wednesday, Mar. 1st, 2023

New Jersey takes the next step to protect interracial marriage rights



A bill to protect and codify interracial marriage rights in New Jersey was passed by Assemblymembers in a unanimous 78-0 vote on Monday, and now awaits review in the Senate. 


If signed into law, the bill (A 4939) would amend a statute on marriages and civil unions to read: 



37:1-1.  Marriages and civil unions.

c.  Laws concerning marriage and civil union shall be read with gender and race neutral intent.




The bill also clarifies state’s position on race and marriage rights with the following declarations, further safeguarding protections for all couples who wish to marry there: 


"1. (New section) The Legislature finds and declares that New Jersey has never enacted a statute prohibiting marriage between persons of different races and, accordingly, has never had to reverse invidious discrimination in marriage or civil union status on the basis of race.
The Legislature further finds and declares that the right to marry or enter into a civil union with a person of any race, including the same or a different race, is a fundamental right and that race shall not be declared to be a prohibiting factor.
2. (New section) The State, any governmental entity, or any other institution shall not infringe on the fundamental right of a person to marry or enter into a civil union with a person of any race."



Assembly Bill 4939 is sponsored by Representatives John McKeon (D), Carol Murphy (D), and Raj Mukherji (D), and is expected to pass with overwhelming support. The measure was written with the help of Jordan Ortiz, a political science student at the University of Pennsylvania, and a former intern for McKeon. (via CBS News) 


Rep. McKeon has said that passing this amendment is necessary to protect the marriage rights of interracial couples in the state if Loving v. Virginia or Obergefell v. Hodges are ever overturned by the Supreme Court.


See AMM's previous coverage on N.J. A4939: Proposed legislation in New Jersey would protect interracial marriage in 2023



Read more New Jersey Marriage News 





Learn more in the story from CBS Philadelphia below: 






Protect Marriage Equality in New Jersey


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All it takes to become a wedding officiant in N.J. is online ordination through American Marriage Ministries. Once you’re ordained with AMM, you have the authority to marry couples anywhere in the state. Just click the link below to get started!  







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Close up photo of interracial couple holding hands

In 1948, an interracial couple in California challenged the state's anti-miscegenation laws and won. The Perez v Sharp case ended a state ban on interracial marriage, and was referenced in future landmark cases, including Loving v Virginia. Read the full article here. 




Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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