N.J. Lawmakers Pass Marriage Equality Bill; Gov. Christie Says He’ll Veto It

February 16, 2012

by Jeremy Leaming

New Jersey lawmakers, in historic fashion, advanced equality, by voting to allow lesbians and gay men to wed. As The Star-Ledger notes it was the first time the Assembly “had ever voted on the measure.”

It also follows this week’s action in Washington, where Gov. Chris Gregoire enacted a marriage equality law. That state joined New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa and Washington, D.C. in supporting same-sex marriages. Not surprisingly, Religious Right activists are vowing to topple the Washington law, by placing it before voters.

In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie (pictured) has said he would veto the marriage equality bill. He says civil liberties of lesbians and gay men should be placed before voters. The Star-Ledger says the veto may happen today.

Still, supporters of marriage equality celebrated the vote. Assemblyman Reed Gusciara (D-Mercer) said “this is probably one of the highlights of my legislative tenure – no matter what the ultimate outcome may be.”

The Maryland legislature is also considering a marriage equality measure. Maryland Gov. Marin O’Malley, unlike Christie, is supporting equality. After Washington lawmakers approved its marriage equality bill, O’Malley issued a statement saying, in part, “It is time for Maryland to do the same.”

[image via Walter Burns]