Friday a judge ruled that gay couples must be allowed to legally marry in the Garden State beginning Oct. 21.

Leading Democrats discuss gay marriage ruling at the State House. (Photo by Kevin McArdle, Townsquare Media)

The Christie Administration has vowed to appeal the decision. Leading State Senate Democrats say they will battle on three fronts to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey.

Democrats have never been successful in any attempt to override a Gov. Chris Christie veto, but they plan to try again as they work behind the scenes to muster the votes to override his veto of a bill to allow gay marriage in NJ.

"This court decision has to change a lot of minds for one reason; they said the law we have is not legal," explains Sen. President Steve Sweeney. "That should make it easier to get votes instead of harder to get votes for an override….We're going to continue to work to get the votes. When you see me put it up for a vote figure we're going to have the votes for it."

Other top Democrats are joining Sweeney in calling for Christie to drop his planned appeal of least week's ruling. It is very unlikely that will happen and that's why they're also urging the State Supreme Court to hear the appeal immediately.

"We've heard the Governor (Chris Christie) has already announced he's going to appeal so we're calling on the courts today, the (State) Supreme Court to take this issue up now," says Sen. President Steve Sweeney. "They can. They Should. By Oct. 21st people should know yes or no. We know it's going there so there should be no delay. We're calling on the Supreme Court to take action immediately."

In an emailed statement Friday, Christie's press secretary, Michael Drewniak made clear how the Administration feels.

"Governor Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this Election Day," wrote Drewniak. "Since the legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination."

Even if the State Supreme Court decides that gay marriage must be legal in New Jersey, an override will still be necessary for three reasons according to democrats:

  • The bill that Christie's veto has exemptions for clergy
  • If the make-up of the State Supreme Court could change
  • The state's law must jibe with legislation currently being on at the federal level