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Cory Booker Destroys Christian Heckler at NJ Gay Marriage Ceremony: VIDEO


Earlier we posted a shorter video of the marriage equality proceedings officiated by Newark mayor Cory Booker last night. Before he married Orville Bell and Joseph Panessidi, Booker asked, "I must ask if there's anyone present here today that should know of any reason why Joseph and Orville should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace."

Screamed a heckler. "This is unlawful in the eyes of God!"

Booker then had the heckler removed, and continued to cheers...

"Not hearing any substantive, worthy objections, I now will proceed."


(clip via jmg)

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  1. Congratulations!

    Posted by: Eddie | Oct 21, 2013 12:38:34 PM

  2. From one happy newlywed in California to all the others in New Jersey, CONGRATULATIONS and welcome to the club.

    To all the rest of you who want to highjack this thread to argue about God, GET A LIFE.

    Posted by: Howard | Oct 21, 2013 1:10:22 PM

  3. Gee Derrick, you sure took a fast leap to the hot seat, slow down. I'm an atheist too (well, kind of between agnostic and atheist), but that said, I don't spend much time thinking about it, or God or whatever. It sort of gives me time to do other things. I don't think it makes me any worse or any better than anyone else. But I guess I'm one of the "good" atheists in your book, as I don't begrudge other people their beliefs, except when certain types insist that their way is the best way, yadda yadda, and use this exploitively. I've personally never known an atheist to go on the warpath to convert others to his or her absence of faith in organized religion. Or is this a new thing?

    Posted by: tinkerbelle | Oct 21, 2013 1:11:49 PM

  4. Who's the handsome grey-haired dude in the background?

    Posted by: tinkerbelle | Oct 21, 2013 1:14:27 PM

  5. @ MaryM: While I won't defend religion or the religious, I think it's appropriate to point out that religious choice is never as easy as it may seem. There exists no demonstration that religion, unlike sexual orientation or race, springs from genetic roots. Nevertheless, social pressures and family heritage can make it very difficult to change or drop religious beliefs, commitments, or affiliations. Further, there are non-rational, "common sense reasons" to adopt or continue religious behaviors and beliefs. As a younger person, I was strongly influenced by a very intellectual and scientifically oriented person who, years later, effectively ended our relationship when he claimed to "realize that God has a plan for our lives." The fellow was a professional academic who should have been aware of the mental traps and tricks used by the purveyors of religious nonsense.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Oct 21, 2013 1:17:35 PM

  6. @TINKERBELLE--Derrick, unfortunately, makes a good point. I'm in a university town and work in academia, and the negativity directed at me by those who identify as atheist/agnostic/secular humanist and other varieties of non-theist has surprised me. I don't bring my religion to the workplace or even wear it on my sleeve. I just try to be a good person, which I think is something most people try to do regardless of their views about G/god(s).

    @JENNY--Surely you realize that the Bible can be read, more easily I might add, as a document that doesn't endorse killing non-believers. The minority who adhere to fundamentalism in any of the theistic religions have given religion a bad name. But a lot of people also get motivated through a relationship with faith to be better people. Really we're all agnostic--none of us has evidence that a god/God(s) or other divine whatever exist(s), or what he/she/it/they are like. That includes you. Everything else is a matter of faith, including atheism.

    Posted by: Daniel | Oct 21, 2013 1:27:41 PM

  7. Does this guy show up at every wedding he thinks is "unlawful in the eyes of God" or just gay marriages with press there?

    Posted by: anon | Oct 21, 2013 2:07:22 PM

  8. I still haven't heard of gays or atheists hunting down, beating and killing straights or believers. And yet we are the bad guys?

    Posted by: Terry | Oct 21, 2013 2:45:24 PM

  9. @ "Gee Derrick, you sure took a fast leap to the hot seat, slow down."

    LOL. Sorry, TINKERBELLE, it's called Monday Morning Withdrawal (that's why I've never had a man for more than one night).

    But it's funny how these little temper tandroms on Towleroad can lead me to do a little amature research on the internet.

    I, of course, looked to see what AVOWED atheists in history have committed atrocities. I basically came up with the "regular" two: Josef Stalin and Pol Pot (Pot was a Buddhist, but I understand one can an atheist, Buddhist and butcher at the same time).

    MOre importantly my amature research today led me to Elie Wiesel and his book "Night".
    It's about how Elie (or the character based on him) was a strong believer as a child. But his experiences in the Holocaust made him a non-believer. I don't know whether Mr Wiesel ever became a believer again.

    There are many Gay people who believe in one of the major religions, or simply believe that there is some higher power that exists. Many know that they have NO proof--they understand that their belief is through faith. To tell them that they are "ignorant" is being intolerant.

    I don't like intolerance whether it comes from a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu or atheists on Towleroad.

    Hell, I even believe that there are good Republicans...some where in Maine, I guess.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 21, 2013 4:58:24 PM

  10. I don't know why CB even asked that question. I wouldn't want anyone asking it at my wedding.

    Posted by: David | Oct 21, 2013 5:39:30 PM

  11. @David: it's a standard question. The intention was to give someone a chance to say, "Hey, So-and-so is already married to someone in a different town." They don't want someone purposely waiting out of spite to bring it up after the ceremony is finished.

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 21, 2013 5:51:32 PM

  12. What kind of person heckles a wedding?

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 21, 2013 6:18:44 PM

  13. Okay, maybe I'm cynical, but that question is so archaic and Booker's answer was so sharp and quick, that I'm tempted to wonder if Booker didn't include the question precisely to provoke some heckler - which allowed him to throw down his zinger for the cameras.

    Posted by: Profe Sancho Panza | Oct 22, 2013 1:46:50 AM

  14. Transgender is NOT our problem. Sorry.

    Posted by: Tiger | Oct 22, 2013 7:00:32 AM

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