New Jersey

New Jersey lawmakers will vote on same-sex marriage bills this month


TRENTON, N.J. — The Democratic leadership in the New Jersey state legislature on Monday announced that measures to legalize same-sex marriage will advance to floor votes by both chambers — the majority leadership announced that the Senate had scheduled a vote for Feb. 13, followed by a vote in the House vote three days later.

This action puts added pressure on Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who has publicly vowed to veto any same-sex legislation, and instead has called on state lawmakers to put the issue before the voters on the November 2012 ballot.

Should the Governor make good with his promise to reject the bill, lawmakers from both parties acknowledge that the legislation will need to win the support of two-thirds of both houses — the threshold for overriding a governor’s veto.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll found New Jersey voters support same-sex marriage by a margin of 52 to 42 percent.

More than 38 states ban or refuse to recognize same sex marriage, but six states, along with the District of Columbia, allow it. Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa.

New Jersey has allowed same-sex civil unions since 2007.

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