– The state Civil Union Review Commission
(CURC) announced today that it will take
testimony on the implementation and effectiveness
of the New Jersey Civil Union Act at three
public hearings to be held in September
and October. dates
According to CURC Chairman J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo,
each public hearing will run from 6:30 p.m.
to 8:30 p.m., and will provide attendees
a chance to directly address the Commission
regarding New Jersey’s civil union
law, which took effect February 19, 2007.
of the civil union statue represents historic
change,” said Vespa-Papaleo. “It
is important that we hear from residents
to learn, from their perspective, how the
law is being applied and what impact it
is having. ‘’
The CURC is an advisory body created under
the civil union statute. It is made up of
private citizens and government representatives,
including a representative of the Attorney
General’s Office. The dates and locations
of the upcoming CURC hearings are as follows:
26, New Jersey Law Center, One
Constitution Square, Ryder’s Lane
(off Route 1), New Brunswick.
October 10, Camden County
College, Dennis Flyer Memorial Theater
(in Lincoln Hall), College Drive, Blackwood,
Nutley Township Hall, One Kennedy Drive,
3rd Floor Commissioner Chambers, Nutley.
civil union statute (NJSA 37:1-36) requires
that the state hold hearings in which the
public is invited to testify about the effectiveness
of the law. The CURC is responsible for
evaluating implementation of the law and
reporting on it bi-annually to the Governor
and Legislature. The CURC’s final
report on implementation of the civil union
law is due in three years.
Vespa-Papaleo, who also serves as Director
of the state Division on Civil Rights, said
that each location for the upcoming CURC
hearings is wheelchair-accessible. Certified
ASL interpretation and real-time captioning
(CART) are also being provided at the forums
for persons with hearing loss.
Residents seeking additional information
about the CURC hearings should contact CURC
Liaison Esther Neverez at 973-648-4816 or
via e-mail at email@example.com
Information about the public hearings and
the CURC is also available by visiting the
CURC Web site at www.njcivilrights.org/curc.
New Jersey’s civil union law provides
individuals in civil unions all the rights
granted to married couples, including the
rights of hospital visitation, the ability
to collect survivor benefits, and eligibility
for tax deductions. Licenses for civil unions
are issued with the same requirements and
restrictions that apply to marriage licenses,
and those officials currently empowered
to perform marriages are authorized under
the law to conduct civil unions as well.