Gay Marriage at the Jersey Shore?

New Jersey is the latest state to tackle the gay marriage issue. Today a bill passed the NJ democratic controlled senate with a 24-16 vote, where heated debate was reported. The reading of the final voted was followed by large applauses. The next step will be the democratic controlled assembly, where the future remains unknown. Even if the bill does pass the assembly, Governor Chris Christie prepares to veto the bill. This is the obvious political move for Christie, who will likely become a presidential candidate in the future, and even possibly a VP candidate this term.

New Jersey is already preparing for a veto, and plans to fight through it. It will take 27 votes in the Senate and 80 in the assembly to block a veto. It is speculated that a great deal of money will be spent lobbying this bill, in an attempt to convince enough voters to overrule a veto if it comes down to that. “We can override, and we will override,” said Senate President Steven Sweeney. Sweeny did not vote in the 2010 round a gay marriage bill, but is now a huge supporter. In 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the state had to give the legal protections of marriage to gay couples. However, they did not need to call these marriages.

Christie has been in the news lately about gay marriage regarding his plan to introduce a referendum in the state, and let the public decide. A recent Rutgers poll showed 54% of residents supporting gay marriage, up from 46% in 2009. He also has recently appointed the first openly gay justice to the Supreme Court. It will be interesting to see where this goes in NJ, and see if it will join the rest of the states who support gay marriage.

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