News (USA)

Next stop NJ: gay marriage bill up for vote next week

TRENTON — The New Jersey gay marriage proposal will be considered Monday by a Senate committee and could be posted for a full senate vote later in the week, reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

Gay marriage rally in Trenton, NJ. ( photo)
Gay marriage rally in Trenton, NJ. ( photo)

On Monday in the Judiciary Committee, we’re going to vote on marriage equality,” state Sen. Ray Lesniak said, while making the announcement to a crowd of gay marriage supporters on the Statehouse steps today.

“On Thursday the full Senate is going to vote on marriage equality,” said Lesniak, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.” And God be willing, we’ll have 21 votes.”

Garden State lawmakers who support the idea have been reluctant to post the bill for a vote unless they were fairly certain it would pass. Both houses of the Legislature must pass it before it goes to the governor.

Outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine has said he would sign a gay-marriage bill into law. His replacement, Gov.-elect Chris Christie, takes office next month and says he would veto it.

A similar proposal was defeated in New York on Wednesday in an unexpectedly wide 24-38 Senate decision, eight votes shy of the 32 needed for passage. It had passed earlier in the Assembly, and Gov. David Paterson had pledged to support it.

The result in New York, where some Democrats saw the defeat as a betrayal, prompted Lesniakto declare, “This is not the New York Legislature. The New York Legislature is dysfunctional. We’re better than that.”

New Jersey currently has a civil unions law.

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