Newark activists ask Booker to lobby Sarlo on marriage equality

The Newark Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Commission (LGBT) wants Mayor Cory Booker to lobby Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) on marriage equality when he headlines a fundraiser for the Bergen County Democrat tonight in Hackensack.

"We hope that Mayor Booker uses this opportunity to share with Senator Sarlo the importance of backing the Civil Marriage and Religious Protection Act during lame duck session," said Darnell Moore, the Newark LGBT Advisory Commission chairman.

Moore says that Sarlo, who is viewed as a likely no vote on the bill if it is posted for a vote, should "not underestimate how many of his constituents support marriage equality."

"If Senator Sarlo can gain from Mayor Booker how taking such an important step towards equality can benefit so many people, we believe he will no longer remain silent on supporting civil rights for all people," Moore said in a statement released today.

Sources say that Booker has agreed to push Sarlo to support marriage equality.

Booker, viewed as a leading candidate for the 2013 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, was among a group of more than 200 party leaders who signed a letter yesterday urging Democratic legislators to support the same sex marriage bill. He scheduled to attend a $350-per-person fundraiser for Sarlo's 2011 re-election campaign tonight. Sarlo's employer, construction executive Joseph Sanzari, is hosting the event.

Newark activists ask Booker to lobby Sarlo on marriage equality