NJ Senate Democrats: We Won’t Put Civil Rights To A Vote

In a press conference yesterday, NJ State Senator Raymond Lesniak voiced his disagreement with governor Christie’s claim that Garden State residents should decide this issue of gay marriage, not “121 people in Trenton.”

“[Marriage equality] is a civil right, which is already guaranteed in our Constitution,” said Lesniak. “It’s up to the Legislature to guarantee these rights.”

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg chimed in that Democratic legislators aren’t in the habit of putting everything to a public vote. “We’re not putting the governor’s appointments to the Supreme Court on the ballot.” This was in reference to Christie’s nomination of an openly gay justice to the state’s highest court.

N.J.s’ same-sex marriage bill is set to go to a congressional vote in early February and, if it passes, would then head to Christie’s desk—where he says he’ll veto it.  The state senate can override but it would need a two-thirds majority, and a yea vote from a handful of Republicans.

It’ll take some lobbying (and maybe the lure of campaign cash) but other states, like New York and Washington, have had recent success swaying Republican votes in favor of marriage equality.

Photo: New Jersey State Senate