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NJ Gay Marriage Bill Heads To Governor Christie’s Desk, Veto Vigil Begins

gay marriage passage
Kevin McArdle, Townsquare Media NJ

A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey has been approved by the full General assembly today. The State Senate passed the measure on Monday. Governor Chris Christie is promising to quickly veto the legislation.

After about two hours of debate this afternoon,  the Assembly passed the bill by a margin of 42-33. No Republicans voted in favor of the measure. Four Democrats voted against it and five members were absent.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora is a co-sponsor of the same-sex marriage bill. He says if it were to become law, “Everyone could be part of the American Dream and start a family under the auspices of marriage.”

“Without question this is a historic day in the State of New Jersey,” says Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, another sponsor of the legislation. “Never have I been more enamored with the members of the Assembly Democratic Caucus.”

Gay marriage advocates are thrilled that the bill is heading to the Governor’s desk, but they also know its fate. Garden State Equality chairman and CEO, Steven Goldstein says, “Do we think the Governor will veto it? Of course the Governor is going to veto it, but let’s take one step at a time.”

On Tuesday, Christie said, “If they pass it on Thursday and send it to my desk, believe me I will take very swift action on the bill and then we can move on to the things that the people of New Jersey say are most important to them which is creating jobs, lowering taxes and continuing the New Jersey comeback. That’s what we should be focused on, not the last month that we’ve spent on what really is an act of theater.”

The Governor said earlier today that he is not returning to the State House in Trenton tonight, so the earliest his veto can come is tomorrow.

Goldstein thinks the fact that the marriage equality bill has gained full legislative is a victory for his cause. He calls it, “Tremendous progress to the marriage equality movement in New Jersey.”

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