BREAKING: NJ Assembly Passes Marriage-Equality Bill, 41-33. Over To You, Christie

As expected, the New Jersey Assembly passed the marriage-equality bill late Thursday afternoon, with a 41-33 vote.

Four Democrats voted no, and zero Republicans voted yes.

The state Senate passed the measure on Monday, 24-16.

“Trenton’s two-year evolution from just missing the opportunity to give couples the freedom to marry to enthusiastically sending it to the governor’s desk this week has been remarkable, but we are far from achieving our ultimate goal: getting the bill signed into law,” said Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the ACLU of New Jersey. “Even if it takes until the end of this legislative session, we have faith that enough legislators will recognize a piece of themselves in the stories of gay and lesbian couples who simply want the chance to fulfill their lives together without their love declared ‘second-class.’”

Republican Gov. Chris Christie has vowed a “swift veto” and tried to intimidate lawmakers from moving the measure forward by calling it “political theater.”

Yes, Gov. Christie, you have veto power and a veto-proof majority will prove difficult to muster, but, if you’re saying this is pointless, you’re wrong. It shows that gay marriage can pass in any fairly progressive state that has a liberal governor.

And they’re not that short of a veto-proof majority, either. In order to override Christie’s veto, the Assembly will need 54 votes and the Senate 27. It’s not that close to happening, but it ain’t that far either.

Photo via Bob Jagendorf

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  • christopher di spirito

    Gov. Fatso has already said he plans to promptly veto the marriage equality bill.

    Your turn, Friend of Christie, to defend your hero’s homophobia.

  • MikeE

    I don’t get it.

    Since when did the United States turn into a dictatorial fascist state?

    Aren’t those 41 assemblymen duly elected officials, representing their constituents when they vote in the assembly?

    So the governor, a lone person, will decide that HE doesn’t agree with what is a duly elected majority and do as he pleases?

  • Joetx

    I think this will all play out like Cali, where Schwarzena-hole TWICE vetoed SSM bills. The NJ Supreme Court will rule that prohibiting SSM under the NJ constitution is unconstitutional. There will be a ballot measure amending the NJ constitution, it will pass, & racist white gays will blame black people. There will be a federal lawsuit brought by AFER. AFER will win at the district court level, the ruling will be appealed to the circuit court, which will use the 9th Circuit’s recent ruling to uphold SSM on similarly narrow grounds.

  • Isaac C

    @MikeE: Fool, he is within his right to veto the legislation. When the courts overturned Prop 8, which was a decision “by the people,” you weren’t complaining about that, were you? If you were a conservative and against gay rights, you’d say that the courts overstepped their boundaries in CA and were being “fascist.”

    Gov. Christie is a part of the government of NJ. If he vetoes, he will have done nothing wrong as a part of government.

  • tookietookie

    @Joetx: *rolls eyes*

  • the crustybastard

    FTFA: “Four Democrats voted no, and zero Republicans voted yes.”

    The Republican Party is canny enough to make its members toe the line. “Vote our principles, or we’ll end your political career.” Conversely, the Democratic Party remains willing to accommodate bigots, and assist in their re-election.

    This situation leads to the perverse outcome that the principled party is the one where bigotry is mandatory.

    /didn’t say the principles were admirable.

  • Riker

    What I think most people don’t realize is that this vote has little to do with New Jersey, and even less to do with same-sex marriage. It was a cunning move by Democrats to curtail Christie’s 2016 presidential ambitions. In four years, same-sex marriage approval will probably be around 60% nationwide. Going down in history as the man who vetoed same-sex marriage will allow liberals to paint him as a modern George Wallace, and in doing so destroy his chances in a general election.

    Gays are little more than a pawn in this very long game. Still, nicely done, Dems. I couldn’t have played it better myself.

  • doug105

    @the crustybastard: So being forced to vote for something you don’t believe in(no matter how wrong you are)is principled? My what a screwed up view you have.

  • Freddie

    But where’s Friend of Christie? I thought he’d be right on here, showing how his larger-than-life friend is actually great for the LGBT community.

  • Danny

    @Isaac C. You should stop and think what purpose you think government holds, because you seem to think it is a sacrosanct institution that can violate your human rights or those of your neighbor simply because some politicians think violating the human rights of other people is okay. And if you believe that people need only outnumber someone to violate their human rights, go find two people who hate you and have them vote with you on whether you should have any human rights and then accept it if those two people who outnumber your one vote decide to vote to take your human rights away on the spot. Democracy has to be more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. You need to realize the human rights of the individual (and that means you and your neighbors) are not a popularity contest, and you should worry when any politician uses their political career ambition to violate the human rights of you or your neighbors – whether you or your neighbors are outnumbered or not.

    There is nothing noble about a governor vetoing human rights legislation, nothing at all.

  • ChrisC

    Haven’t recent polls shown the the majority in New Jersey support Marriage Equality? And isn’t it the job of the Governor to represent the views of his people? This Man is so out of touch.

  • B

    No. 9 · Freddie wrote, “But where’s Friend of Christie?”

    He was censored, along with everyone criticizing various racist statements he made.
    Curiously, the person that started “Friend of Christie” going (the guy who called Christie “Fatso”) was not censored.

  • Queer Supremacist

    New Jersey proves it’s still the armpit of America and Governor Lardass McBreedergoy proves why only gays should be allowed to hold public office or vote.

    @the crustybastard: Some of the worst men who ever lived had principles. All of them happened to be heterosexual.

    @Riker: What about the four Democrats who voted no (that you so-called “liberals” in New Jersey better run out of town on a rail)?

  • Stefan

    The actual vote was 42/33. One legislator who was supportive had a broken button.

  • Mk_ultra_again

    @Danny: Don’t mind Isaac. He also believes Hitler just had a ‘disagreement” with the “lifestyle choice” of the Jews. You know, get away with anything including murder if you “believe” you are right.


    Porky will live (or maybe not) to regret if he vetos this

  • Isaac C

    @Danny: We can debate what human rights are and what you believe them to be all day and all night, but in the end there will be disagreement about them.

    @Mk_ultra_again: This is by far the stupidest and most untruthful thing I’ve read here.

  • Riker

    @Queer Supremacist: I’m not a liberal, more of a moderate Republican. However, I can still respect a perfectly played tactic if the other side uses it. Politics is like a chess match for me; even if I lose, I can still enjoy a great game on both sides.

    As for your question, I doubt very much the Assembly was behind it. No, either the DNC or some other influential group engineered the maneuver. If we could track down the person who first brought the topic up this year, and see who they are connected to, we might get a better picture.

  • christopher di spirito

    The NJ Assembly should tell Gov. Fatso the bill really allows you to marry is a bucket of fried chicken, then he’ll sign it.

  • kaneekwa

    What a fat fuck! Save some food fo’ the rest of the planet A-ho.

  • Kev C

    Governor Christie probably doesn’t want gay wedding dollars and gay business. Renting halls, limos, tuxedos, bakery cakes, food catering, florists, musicians and DJs, bartenders, clergy, etc. And I haven’t even mentioned honeymoons. Yeah, New Jersey doesn’t need gay business.

  • the crustybastard

    @doug105: “So being forced to vote for something you don’t believe in(no matter how wrong you are)is principled?” [gratuitous ad hominem omitted]

    A political party operates on a set of principles. Those principles are typically called a “platform.” The process of advancing that platform legislatively is known as the party’s “political agenda.”

    Because of party discipline, the Republicans are able to advance their political agenda with ruthless efficiency. Their party discipline is so good that they are, more often than not, able to advance their agenda EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NOT THE MAJORITY. This is because Democrats have a weak platform and poor party discipline.

    That’s only “my view” to the extent that I’m willing to take a clear view of reality.

    In my opinion, political parties are the absolute fucking ruination of this country; as necessary to secure excellent governance as the seventh-grade mean-girl clique was necessary to secure an excellent education.

    Were it in my power, I’d ban political parties.* Since I cannot, I merely hold them in contempt.

    (*Lest you imagine that’s an extremist position, I assure you it was a position shared by several eminent Founders of this very Republic.)

  • CJ

    Well, I am definitely PRO- LGBT equality so don’t get me wrong. BUT, the citizens of New Jersey voted this guy in. I would imagine that EVERY state requires that the Governor signs legislation that has been voted on by the House and Senate. Just like at the federal level. Unless a 2/3 majority (or similar) happens, the Governor can stop anything he or she doesn’t want to see passed into law. Those are the rules.

    So, as much as I want to “blame” the Governor… he was voted in by the citizens of New Jersey with almost a 5% margin. This is an example of “buyer beware” because your governor DOES have considerable power when it comes to equality.

    The next time we go to vote this November, remember WHO we’ll get stuck with for the next 4 years. I’m not saying that LGBT equality is THE top priority of all national priorities… but it should certainly be a HIGH one.

    Too bad our President can’t stick his neck out and support full marriage equality. He’s as much of a wimp as all of the other Democrats that don’t vote for equality. He hides behind what is safe. Republicans do the same, of course. Everyone protects self first then their party second. Why do you think we don’t have term limits? Every American wants them except for those that actually get elected.

  • CJ

    By the way, it is going to be a BATTLE in Washington State this coming year. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is going to unload unlimited amounts of money to strip away marriage rights in Washington. If that happens, that’s a BIG setback for progressing forward. It’d be another liberal state (like California) basically voting an anti-gay law that forbids marriage equality. If you want to see progress, find a group in Washington that support marriage equality and donate some money. We pretty much know that New Jersey is settled. New York went favorable. We don’t know exactly what will happen to Proposition 8. It’s mostly out of our hands. BUT, in Washington it will be a battle between the likes of NOM and progressives. Even if you live far away from Washington we need to see further progress this coming year. We can’t let a liberal state like Washington LOSE on an issue like this. We need to see more progress this year ESPECIALLY as Proposition 8 and other laws possibly head to SCOTUS. There needs to be progress. There needs to be momentum for equality to show SCOTUS that the USA is progressing and that anti-equality laws are 100% discrimination.

  • Alex

    @Isaac C: What I think he is trying to say is Christie has been quoted in saying that he wants it up to the people to decide. By electing a rep that matches their ideology they are representing the will of the people. So he is being hypocritical.

  • Cam

    Christie is making a bad political move. The tea party and the extreme right is going to be blamed for taking the GOP to a historical defeat in this next election…especially if Santorum gets the nomination.

    I could be wrong, but IF that happens and the pendulum in the GOP starts swinging back to the moderates, Christie pandering to the right wing is going to hurt him later.

    Additionally, those 4 Dems who voted no need to have well funded primary opponents run against them.

  • Robert in NYC

    No. 25, I tend to agree with you. By kow-towing to bigotry in vetoing the bill, he’s going to lose a wide variety of support across the political landscape. His appeal will diminish and he’ll definitely alienate the majority of the younger voters and many independents. He’s sealing his own fate by vetoing and he can forget about a presidential run in the future. He will be irrelevant as time passes. I doubt if he’ll even get a second term as Governor.

  • the crustybastard


    Playing politics with other people’s rights is never “cunning.” It is an unforgivably despicable, sociopathic act that shouldn’t be tolerated by sensible people, ever.

    That you would admire such a grotesquerie makes you scarcely better than the soulless fucks who would engage in the practice. Sickening.

    Was your moral and political education really so deficient or perverse, or did you come up with it all by your boot-strappy self?

    “Moderate Republican,” indeed.

  • tjr101

    Its hard for me to feel sympathy for many in the state of NJ when a lot of them voted this bigot in or even worse decided not to vote at all. You reap what you sow. To the folks who advocate sitting out the elections this coming November, take note of what happens. You always get the worse end of the stick.

  • the crustybastard

    @Isaac C: Fool, he is within his right to veto the legislation…If he vetoes, he will have done nothing wrong as a part of government.”

    While somewhat true, I harbor no doubt nearly every one of the Founders — were they alive today — would cheerfully cockpunch Christie for this abuse of power; whereby he makes a mockery of every foundational American document for the sole purpose of insulting and degrading the fundamental, Constitutional and civil rights of a politically powerless minority of citizens.

    In fact, this sort of bullshit was the reason the Founders contemplated making the executive a 3-man board, rather than a single individual. That they had a sensible, selfless statesman like George Washington on deck reassured them that the veto invested in one man was unlikely to be abused.

    Obviously, they failed to account for the fact that one day the executive functions would be vested in ignorant bigots and partisan tools like George Wallace and Chris Christie, who are incapable of grasping even basic fundamental concepts like “equal” — a concept that I have observed to be within the grasp of three-year-olds.

    In short, it is within the governor’s power to veto legislation with reason, but it is a gratuitous abuse of that power for him to veto this legislation for this reason.

    If this doesn’t make sense to you, read it again.

  • WJoaquin

    @Isaac C: Is there no Republican sleazebag you won’t defend? You make me sick.

  • Riker

    @the crustybastard: I freely admit that I’m a horrible human being and, were it possible to observe a soul, I would probably not have one. Once you get past all that messy human stuff, life is much more fun.

  • CBRad

    @Queer Supremacist: NJ is not the armpit of America. it’s very varied. Ranging from dangerous urban ghettos to blueblood country estates, and everything in between.

  • CBRad

    But why all you gays suddenly care what goes on in NJ is beyond me. NYC (transplant) gays always designated NJ as the place that was inferior to Manhattan, and to where you never went. Now they’re acting like….they WANT gay marriage in NJ? How will NYC gays maintain their pretended superiority complex? (Wasn’t Iowa enough of a blow to them?)

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