If there were ever sounder words of advice for New Jersey’s state senators, who will vote on gay marriage legislation tomorrow, it is this: Learn from New York. Because while most are, at best, cautiously optimistic the the Jersey legislature will pass the bill, merely bringing it to a floor vote will have the effect of total transparency — knowing exactly where each lawmaker stands on gay rights. Or, more accurately, where each stands on eliminating discrimination. That’s the hard lesson being learned by New York’s Democratic senators, who bungled the marriage vote, and those who voted “no” now facing the wrath, and financial fury, of gay activists and supporters. Both Sens. Carl Kruger and Hiram Monserrate, among others, are facing public humiliation over their votes, and guarantees there will be hell to pay come election time.
So with Senate President Richard Codey (pictured, right) agreeing to give the marriage bill an up-or-down tomorrow, New Jersey’s Democratic senators (of which there are 23, to 17 Republicans) have a chance to not make the same mistake.
Because while some, like the Star-Ledger, claim that Garden State Equality’s strategy of “threatening wavering Democrats and sending protestors to their home” actually “went overboard,” the only real way to effect “yes” votes, aside from appealing to lawmakers’ sense of moral right, is to issue ultimatums on cash money.
We need 21 votes tomorrow in the Senate to approve the bill. And it’s only then that State Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (pictured, left) has promised to act before the legislative session ends Monday, and get the bill to Gov. Jon Corzine (pictured, center) desk before he leaves office Jan. 19.
Because after that, Republican Chris Christie takes office, and it’ll be even more appealing to use that time to oust anti-gay Democratic lawmakers.
(Photo via Life)