BREAKING: Marriage Equality Bill Passes NJ Senate, Heads To Assembly

Lawmakers in Trenton have just approved a marriage-equality measure with a vote of 24-16, paving the way for the bill to head to the New Jersey state Assembly, where it is expected to pass easily on Thursday.

As ABC News reports:

Monday’s vote contrasts with the only other gay-marriage vote taken in the Legislature. In January 2010, gay marriage supporters thought they had built a narrow majority in the Senate, but senators began to defect, and the measure was defeated 20-14. Since then, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat from West Deptford, has changed his position. He says he regrets abstaining two years ago and has made gay marriage recognition a top priority.

Republican Governor Chris Christie (right) has made clear he’ll veto the bill when it comes across his desk, stating he’d rather the issue be put on a public ballot.

Way to dodge the issue, Chris!

After Christie’s ix-nay, the Legislature would have until January 2014 to override it with a two-thirds votes in both chambers. Same-sex marriage advocates believe they can garner enough support in two years, but it’s really a shame they have to spend the time and resources to do so.

Photo: Bob Jagendorf

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  • Robert in NYC

    Wait, Queerty! It didn’t get a veto-proof majority of 27 in favor. I was under the impreassion it can become law after 45 days without signature. Maybe someone could clarify that.

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    @Robert in NYC:

    Three possibilities:

    1) Governor signs the bill into law. — Unlikely since he says he will veto the bill.

    2) Governor vetoes the bill. — Legislature has two years to attempt an override. If an override fails, then back to a new legislative session and start again.

    3) Governor neither signs or vetoes the bill within 45 days of passage. — If the governor fails to sign or veto the bill, the bill automatically becomes law after the 45 days.

  • Shannon1981

    Hopefully, the third measure happens, since we know it won’t be the first. What is this douchebag’s problem?

  • Paul Harris

    Does anyone remember in the 80s when right wingers rallied behind the motto, “Equal Rights Yes, Special Privileges No!” when they opposed non-discrimination laws aimed to protect gays and lesbians in housing and employment? Funny but now they wouldn’t dare use that motto because their hypocrisy would show they would have to support equal rights in marriage for gay and lesbian citizens.

    Paul Harris
    Author, “Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina”

  • the crustybastard

    When Christie vetos, some enterprising legislator should introduce a ballot measure to let the voters decide if the governor deserves a $175,000 salary and deluxe benefits package, including free housing and a pension. The people should probably also decide whether Christie should be allowed to lobby in the future.

  • Robert in NYC

    @The Real Mike in Asheville: Thanks! However, isn’t the NJ legislature the only body that can call for a referendum? Or does coward Christie have special privileges to do that?

    How would the haters like a referendum overturning the tax-exempt status of religious cults revoked for interfering in the political process?

  • Mike1987

    Given his weight, I think the voters should decide if the State should insure him. Gee, sounds fair

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    @Robert in NYC: NJ does not have ballot referendum practice. There CANNOT a ballot vote on a gay marriage LAW.

    What Christie has proposed is a constitutional amendment. Any amendment must be passed by each house of the NJ legislature by 60% margins. Once an amendment passes the legislature, it MUST be advanced to the people for a public vote.

    CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION: Christie is proposing a TRAP. Since the NJ Supreme Court has ruled that so long as its equal, separate but equal is acceptable. Currently there is a new law suit near the Supreme Court that the separate Civil Unions are not equal and therefore unconstitutional. The trap Christie is proposing is a constitutional amendment; that amendment could say man-women only. If it passes, it would, essentially, reverse the Supreme Court decision. If man-women fails, it does not mean anything as no law or provision of the constitution is changed. If same-sex amendment, and fails, we lose again. If same-sex amendment and we win, well that is the only case we win.

  • Patsy Stoned

    It is a shame that Christie sold whatever might have passed for his soul to appease the bigots in his party. Someone is angling for a national office. NJ will eventually have equality, it is just unfortunate that an asshole was voted into office to block it for the time being.

  • Married, Not Civil Unionized

    @Patsy Stoned: You might actually blame the New Jersey Democratic Governor Jon S. Corzine and a Democratic majority in the Legislature in 2007 who gave us the segregationist alternative to full marriage rights — the so-called “Civil Union”. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples were entitled to the same partnership rights as heterosexual couples, but the court cowardly left it up to the Democratic majority in New Jersey to call it Marriage, Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships or Sweet Potato Pie. Apparently, under the New Jersey’s hetero-centric biased interpretation of the law, words really “don’t” matter — that is, when it comes to the human dignity of Gays and Lesbians.

    Read the Article below for a sense of the outrage that the Jim Crowish “Civil Unionizing” of Same-sex marriage rights engendered after the ruling and after the betrayal of the Democratic dominated New Jersey state government at the time.

    Link below:


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