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Let Christie Veto It: NJ Legislators Vow to Legalize Gay Marriage

Let Christie Veto It: NJ Legislators Vow to Legalize Gay Marriage

New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) said on Friday that the state legislature will pass a bill to legalize same sex marriage in the state. The NJ State Senate will be voting on the bil on Monday and, as Sweeney said on the Brian Lehrer Show, he expects the measure to pass “absolutely.” Sweeney said he expects that a similar bill will pass the State Assembly on Thursday, too.

Governor Chris Christie has made it abundantly clear that he will veto a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, which he is “no fan” of. At the end of January, Christie had called for a referendum on same-sex marriage, saying that “we’re discussing huge change, and I believe we need to approach this not only in a thoughtful way, not in a rushed way, but also in a way where we’re able to get the most input that we can from the public.” Last week, state Sen. Christopher Bateman (R) proposed an amendment to “let the people of New Jersey decide.”

A number of civil rights advocates and politicians have pointed out that calling for a referendum on same sex marriage is tantamount to asking the public to vote on civil rights. Christie at first pshawed such, saying that “people would have been happy” to vote on civil rights. But after even Newark mayor Cory Booker (D), who has generally refrained from criticizing Christie, blasted the governor for his misinformed statement about civil rights, Christie apologized for his remarks.

As Sweeney said to Brian Lehrer on Friday,

“You don’t put civil rights on the ballot. When you put it on the ballot, the majority will always deny the minority.”

Recent polls show that more and more New Jerseyans support gay marriage. Assuming that Christie vetoes the bill, a two-thirds majority vote in both the state Senate and Assembly will be needed. This week, supporters of same sex marriage are planning to wear blue and fill the galleries of both houses of the NJ legislature in Trenton, while opponents are planning to wear red and rally outside the statehouse.

When a similar bill was introduced into the NJ State Senate in 2010, Sweeney abstained from voting. He now says that his opposition to the bill was “wrong” and a “political calculation.” As he said on Friday to Brian Lehrer:

“If the governor vetoes the bill, we’re gonna fight to override the governor. I have two years to do it almost, so that gives us plenty of time to work on people.”

NJ.com quotes Kenneth Sherrill, a political science professor at Hunter College in New York who has studied gay marriage referendums and notes that politicians are probably thinking of the drive to legalize same sex marriage in New Jersey as a “campaign issue”:

“It’s a popular issue and it puts the governor in a bad light — perhaps one of the few issues that can be used to make him look bad with the independents and with educated voters.”

Previous Care2 Coverage

Newark Mayor Blasts Christie Over Gay Marriage Vote (VIDEO)

Gov. Christie: Gay Justice Won’t Rule on Same-Sex Marriage

Illinois Lawmakers Introduce Gay Marriage Legislation

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96 comments

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3:36PM PST on Mar 5, 2012

GOOD!

4:30AM PST on Feb 16, 2012

Tom Y:

Marriage can be open to all people, including same sex couples, and can still be, "the stabilizing progenitor for America's posterity" as you put it.

We are talking about civil rights here , we are talking about equality in Soc. Sec. benefits. Many pension plans will only give pension benefits to a surviving spouse, and not to a "partner" or "signifigant other".

Letting gay couples marry will not hurt the institution of marriage, not in the least.

It will actually strengthen the institution, by bringing in millions of people who have been, up until now, left out.

Christie is an Neanderthal ass.

11:10PM PST on Feb 14, 2012

The truly independent and educated voters support Christie's decision to veto this hasty legislation... they know history doesn't just lead up to us and stop. We need marriage to remain the stabilizing progenitor for America's posterity. It shouldn't be expected to function as a brass ring prize for sterility's greedy activists.

10:48PM PST on Feb 13, 2012

Thanks.

9:33PM PST on Feb 13, 2012

Marriage is first and foremost a contract between two people, and has been thus for several centuries. It was designed to keep property in the family when females couldn't inherit, to make political alliances, and had little to nothing to do with Love. It's the reason we still have Justices of the Peace and why all churches must get legal dispensation to perform marriages. The church only got into the game when someone wanted their marriage blessed. As a straight female, I have spent more time with the GLBT community, by choice, simply because they were never afraid or embarrassed about showing true emotions, unlike some of the straight men, who upon asking if they could buy you a drink, made the assumption that they'd also purchased you for the evening. Our friendships and time together have always been interesting and respectful of one another. So if those who presume to assume what the God and Goddess wanted, when there are over 1500 species that display homosexual tendencies, think I am going to stand by and let them vilify and condemn my friends and family, they got another think comin'. There is absolutely no reason why two people who love eachother should not get married. Hell these morons who spout their bible verses about sodomy don't even realize that it also includes oral sex, which I'd bet that better than 90% of them have had, let alone explored anal sex.

8:46PM PST on Feb 13, 2012

The NJ legislators have it right; they are willing to give everyone equal rights and not listen to the bigotry of the religious right and conservative social republicans. Strange, New Jersey that is noted for "Being in your Face" is one of the states that follows the constitution and the Declaration of Independence which state everyone has "the right to pursue happiness."

8:16PM PST on Feb 13, 2012

Join the 21st century please, Christie.

7:50PM PST on Feb 13, 2012

Love is love. Straight people have completely screwed up marriage. Gay couples deserve a chance to get it right.

7:25PM PST on Feb 13, 2012

You Go New Jersey!
And Christie...just go.

3:37PM PST on Feb 13, 2012

The GOP is hell-bent on attempting to CONTROL, everyone.

How can they keep from laughing, every time they talk about wanting less government?
They are the party, that wants to CONTROL & RESTRICT,
with continued nefarious rules and regulations.
This issue is not going away and as time goes on, more and more people will favor this human rights issue, one state at a tme.

Mr. Christie is fighting a losing battle, and he may be making a political faux pas.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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