Now that same-sex marriage has been legalized in Connecticut and New York, New Jersey legislators are going to take a second crack at getting the measure passed.
According to The Star-Ledger, Democrats will be holding a news conference today to announce that a marriage-equality bill will be their priority of the year. It may even be the first bill they put up to a vote.
Back in 2010, their efforts were quashed by an abstention from influential Democrat Steve Sweeney, resulting in a 20-14 defeat.
Nowadays, Senate President Sweeney is less worried about ticking off Republican voters, mostly because New York state overcame a similar problem last year. The NJ legislature expects him to champion the measure.
Garden State Equality president Steve Goldstein says that change is key. “You might call it the Andrew Cuomotization of legislators in New Jersey,” he told the Star-Ledger. “Andrew Cuomo has set the stage for the legislature in New Jersey and in other states, by championing the cause or marriage equality, not begrudgingly but with gusto.”
The bill should pass the Democrat-controlled House and Senate easily, but once it’s sent to Republican governor Chris Christie, it’s unlikely to get his signature. If he vetoes the measure, the Democrats don’t have the two-thirds majority to still pass the bill.
Openly gay NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora still has hope that Christie might not veto the bill.
“Interestingly, the governor has been in three gay marriage states— Iowa, Massachusetts and New Hampshire—with Mitt Romney,” Gusciora said. “Deep down, I think he thinks this is the right thing to do.”