Dear Commons Community,
The New Jersey Assembly approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage yesterday, setting up a confrontation with Gov. Chris Christie, who promised to veto it and challenged the Legislature to put the issue before voters instead. The New York Times reported that:
“In two hours of passionate debate, Democrats supporting the measure urged their colleagues to make history, comparing the fight for legalization of same-sex marriage to battles for women’s suffrage and against racism.
“We can make a giant leap forward today in the fight against one of the last legalized barriers to equal rights,” said Sheila Y. Oliver, the Assembly speaker, whose voice broke at several points as she exhorted her colleagues to support the bill.
The State Senate passed a similar bill on Monday; the Assembly vote was the first time the Legislature united in endorsing same-sex marriage.
And the vote, passing 42 to 33, underscored how much opinion has shifted since two years ago, when the Senate rejected a similar bill. New York State legalized same-sex marriage last year, and this month Washington State did so. The bill passed on Thursday would make New Jersey the eighth state that allows gay and lesbian couples to marry.
But advocates for the bill in New Jersey face a new fight: trying to win enough votes to override the governor’s expected veto.”