New Jersey Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill
Senators in New Jersey on Monday voted 24-16 to legalize same-sex marriage.
Monday’s vote saw two Republican senators, Jennifer Beck and Diane Allen, cross the floor to join 22 Democrats in voting for the bill.
The General Assembly is expected to take up the bill Thursday and it is believed, though not guaranteed, that the bill has enough votes to pass.
However, this historic vote may be dampened slightly by the fact that Governor Chris Christie has repeatedly stated his plans to veto the legislation. The governor has also made it known that he believes the bill should go to a public referendum.
Whether the state Legislature has the votes to override a governor veto is unknown, though advocates have said they are prepared to mount a campaign if that is what is required, and certainly the numbers needed in the Senate do not seem entirely out of reach.
Indeed in a recent interview New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D), who abstained from voting on a same-sex marriage bill in 2010, said last Friday on the Brian Lehrer Show:
“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.”