STATE'S RITES

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