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Marriage Equality Is Spreading To The Last Third Of The Tri-State Area. But Will Gov. Christie Sign The Bill?

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.”

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  • Cam

    Not holding my breath for Christie to do the right thing, but here’s hoping a GOP governor can restore my faith that not all of them are either bigots, or willing to support bigotry to get elected.

  • QJ201

    NJ is more a “purple” than red or blue state. If Gov. Crisco vetos the bill, that will surely turn off the independent voters in the state, and ramp up gay activism in the state.

  • Hyhybt

    No *harm* can come from passing this, even if it gets vetoed. And, of course, meanwhile the court case continues…

  • Jim

    If Christie wants to veto the bill, let him veto it. The voters of that still can vote accordingly the next time he comes up.

  • Stefan

    Another option for Christie is to just not sign it, in which case it would become law in 45 days.

  • Hyhybt

    @Stefan: Why would he do that, unless he knows a veto would be overridden anyway?

  • james

    He has said many times he would veto it right away, so don’t even hold your breathe on this one.

  • William

    @Hyhybt: It would be the Governor’s way of saying he doesn’t support a bill without saying that he is openly opposed to it. A veto, even if it can’t be overridden, is a politically dicey move with a split legislature (dem-controlled house and senate, repub-held governorship). If the democratic leadership has come out and said this is their top priority, a veto of it would put the governor’s own legislative priorities in jeopardy of failing.

  • MikeE

    a veto by a single person like this is about as anti-democratic as can be.

  • KJM1968

    Christie would only sign the bill if it is served with a side of fries.

  • Hyhybt

    @MikeE: This is a representative democracy, otherwise known as a republic.

    Besides, do you *really* want to argue that vetoes should not be allowed? Consider that New Hampshire is in approximately the opposite position right now, where a veto (combined with a few defectors) is pretty much the only way of *keeping* marriage.

  • DB

    Wonderful news. If this passes the Democratic state legislature, it is still a big step forward regardless of whether Republican governor Christie vetoes it. There is always a slim possibility that he would sign it or that the legislature could override the veto.

  • The Artist

    That FAT FCUK is NOT going to pass ANY marriage equality bill. He’s made that very clear. Also, he’s on a mission to find his penis. PEACELUVNBWILD!

  • tjr101

    NJ needs to get rid of Christie in order to see same-sex marriage, it’s as simple as that. The sinfully gluttonous governor has repeatedly vowed a veto, enough with the wishful thinking.

  • Lou Scunt

    He will never sign it, he will veto it. He has said it on many occasions. He plays the religion and moral card on this one. Sad.

  • Steve

    There really isn’t any way for Christie to win this. If he veto’s the bill, the left comes out of the woodwork for the election, and the Republicans lose just about every race. If he signs it, they still lose this election, but not by as much of a margin, and then he looses his own reelection in two years time.

  • Riker

    @Steve: He may just let it pass without his signature. In the Federal government, once Congress passes a bill the President has 10 days to sign it or veto it. If he does neither, then unless the legislative session has already ended, the bill becomes law. New Jersey works in a similar way, though I think they have a longer deadline.

  • James

    That tub of shit Christie will veto it to further his political ambitions in the republican party. I think the state Supreme Court is our best option at this point.

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