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NJ Democrats Name Gay Marriage Bill as Top Priority

Monday, January 09, 2012

Democratic leaders in the Senate and Assembly say sending the governor a gay marriage bill will be a top priority in the new legislative session.

The leaders gathered Monday — the last day of the 2011 Legislative session — to announce a push they say begins on the first day of the new session Tuesday.

"Marriage equality is not about religion," Senate President Steve Sweeney said. " It's about civil rights. It's about everyone having the same rights to marriage and to be happy and make choices, just like I've made; just like a lot of us have made."

Sweeney says he regrets that he didn't support a gay marriage bill that failed two years ago.

"We made a mistake and I can tell you I'm going to fix that."

If it were to pass, New Jersey would become the seventh state to recognize same-sex marriage. Republican Governor Chris Christie has said he doesn't support it, but it's passage would require him to veto something that polls show has a majority of support in the state.

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said the Assembly is fully on board.

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