New Jersey Democrats Send Christie Gay-Marriage Bill He Promises to Veto
The Assembly voted in favor of the bill, 42-33, after the Senate approved it on Feb. 13 by 24-16. Sponsors said they will work to gather the votes to override a veto. Seven states already allow same-sex weddings.
Democrats in New Jersey have made legalizing same-sex marriage a priority, two years after they failed to pass a similar bill supported by then-Governor Jon Corzine, a Democrat. Christie, 49, a first-term Republican, has said he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, and wants voters to decide the issue in a referendum.
Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill this week making Washington the seventh state to grant same-sex couples the right to marry. New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia already permit same-sex weddings.
Maryland’s House of Delegates, which last year stood in the way of gay marriage legislation, is set to vote on a similar measure as soon as this week.
Voters nationwide have rejected gay marriage in all 31 referendums on the issue. Democrats in New Jersey say marriage is a civil right that shouldn’t be subject to a popular vote. Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a West Deptford Democrat, said this week “there’s not a chance in hell” he’d post a referendum bill.
Democrats control the Senate, 24-16, and the Assembly, 48-32. For an override, they would need a two-thirds majority, or 27 supporters in the Senate and 54 in the Assembly.
“They are going to be nowhere near the votes to override in either chamber,” Christie said Feb. 14 in his Trenton office.
“Believe me, I will take very swift action on the bill,” he said. “And we can move on to the things the people of New Jersey say are most important to them, which are creating jobs, lowering taxes and continuing the New Jersey comeback.”
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