Will NJ Gay Marriage Battle Come Down to Christie's Veto, Senate's Override?

The effort to redefine marriage in New Jersey may come down to Gov. Chris Christie's veto and state Republican's authorization for a veto-override.

The Democrat-controlled state Senate passed a bill Monday to legally recognize same-sex marriage by a 24 to 16 vote.


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Steven Goldstein, CEO and chairman of Garden State Equality, said the bill's passage marks a 70 percent increase in support for gay marriage compared to two years ago.

Now, he and other gay marriage advocates expect the state Assembly to pass the gay marriage bill. In fact, Goldstein has already announced a celebration at the Trenton Marriott ballroom scheduled for just after the Assembly's Thursday vote.

Opponents, however, told The Associated Press that the pre-vote celebrations are "an exercise in futility."

Gov. Christie has not wavered from previous promises to veto the bill. On Sunday, he told Fox News, "I am not a fan of same-sex marriage. It's not something that I support."

Christie has also said he would prefer for state residents to decide the issue.

State polls show residents agree with the governor. According to an Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling, 54 percent of state residents said they believe they should be allowed to vote on the issue. Fifty-four percent of residents also said they believe same-sex couples should be allowed to wed.

The state Supreme Court has already ruled that same-sex couples in state-recognized civil union should be allowed to have the same rights as their wedded counterparts.

Christie said Sunday that the state has opposed same-sex marriage before, and is likely to "continue to pursue civil unions."

Gay advocates are hoping that state senators will authorize a veto override.

On Monday, 24 New Jersey senators voted for the same-sex marriage bill. The bill's proponents need 27 votes to secure veto-proof majority.

Adam Bauer, spokesman for the state Senate Republican office, told The Christian Post that it is "unlikely" that Republicans will authorize a veto override.

While some state Republicans have express their sincere opposition to legally recognized same-sex marriage, the state GOP caucus chose not to take a position on the issue and to allow members to vote their conscience.

Two Republican senators have already crossed party lines to support the same-sex marriage bill, Bauer reported. But some Democrats also crossed over to oppose the measure.

The state Senate has until the end of the session in January 2014 to amass enough votes for an override.

Still, Bauer said, "I don't know where the Democrats going to get the votes from."

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