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Gay Marriage Bill Passes NJ Senate in Milestone Vote

Monday, February 13, 2012

Gay Marriage (Getty Images)

The New Jersey Senate passed a same-sex marriage bill on Monday by a vote of 24-16, largely along party lines. It’s just three votes shy of what’s needed to override the promised veto by Governor Chris Christie.

Only two members from each party crossed lines. Two Democrats voted against the bill, while two Republicans voted for it.

Before the vote, Senate President Stephen Sweeney urged Republicans to split with Governor Christie on this issue.

"I also know you’ve been confronted with political retribution for doing so,” Sweeney told the senators. “But when marriage equality was enacted in New York, and more recently in Washington State, it could not have been done without the support of courageous Republicans who bucked their party bosses because they knew they had  to do the right.”

Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) also gave an impassioned speech in which she named friends and family members for whom she intended to cast her vote for gay marriage. “Who are we to say that basic equal rights should be denied to any citizens simply because we are uncomfortable with the nature of their relationship,” Weinberg said.

On the other side of the issue, Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Cresskill) spoke against the measure, explaining that it would be wrong to overturn centuries of past practice. “Indeed this bill relies on politically correct notions to obfuscate the obvious,” Cardinale said. “Gender and gender difference are self evident realities.”

It was the first time either chamber of the state Legislature has passed such a bill. A previous measure failed in the Senate in January 2010, the only other time gay marriage has come up for a vote in New Jersey.

The bill now goes to the New Jersey Assembly on Thursday. It’s expected to pass, and then Democratic leaders say they will begin work on gathering the extra votes to override the governor’s promised veto. They would have until January 2014 to do so.

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Comments [4]

cwebba1 from Astoria

Back to that Wedding Party many years ago: Kate Pierson of the B52s came to sing, but after the "wedding" everyone ran to join the parade. Kate Pierson sang "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" I was the only person left to hear and she blew me away. Here is a link to the original version by Melanie: http://youtu.be/tgrCtZKkgqI

Wohoo New Jersey!!!

Feb. 13 2012 09:56 PM
cwebba1 from Astoria

Wohoo! Awwwsome.
I remember ten years ago going to "The Wedding Party" at the start of the #NYC #LGBT parade. It took a lot of work by a lot of people to get where we are. My gratitude goes today to the legislature of New Jersey. Your heart is in the right place. Keep up the great work!

Feb. 13 2012 09:39 PM
G-Bob from Chelsea

Maybe Christie would lighten up and join the 21st Century if he just stopped eating and got his weight under control. Fatsos are miserable people and they reflexively like to transfer their unhappiness onto everyone else.
How about this; we'll all stop "being gay" and clamoring for equal rights if he stops feeding his fat face and loses about 60 lbs. Deal?

Feb. 13 2012 05:52 PM
Bernie Wattle from Bridgewater NJ

Hope that the Assembly passes this law so that Chris Christie can keep his promise and veto it! That ought to cost him every voter under 30 in the next election.

Oh boy...Kinda smarts when the culture war cuts the other way, don't it?

Feb. 13 2012 04:16 PM

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