TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey state Assembly on Thursday approved its version of the marriage equality bill by a vote of 42-33, although political analysts noted the vote falls short of the necessary 54 votes for an override of Republican Gov. Chris Christie‘s promised veto.
The Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act passed the State Senate earlier this week by a bipartisan vote of 24-16.
“Today, the New Jersey State Legislature sent a powerful message that all its citizens should be treated equally under the law, and that all families deserve the same protections,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
“Governor Christie may veto this legislation, but he is out of step with the majority of voters on this issue. We will not give up until marriage equality becomes a reality in New Jersey,” Solmonese said.
According to new polling from the Eagleton Center, 54 percent of New Jersey voters support marriage equality, an upswing of nearly ten points in two years.
Today’s legislative win for marriage equality comes at a historic moment: in the past two weeks, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled California’s discriminatory Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional; Gov. Christine Gregoire signed marriage equality into law in Washington State; and momentum continued in Maryland with the House expected to vote soon on marriage equality legislation.