New Jersey Legislature passes marriage bill
February 16, 2012
What a day we've had in Trenton today! Moments ago, the New Jersey Assembly voted 42 to 33 to pass A. 1, the bill that would extend the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples. Today's vote in the Assembly vote follows Monday's 24-16 vote passing a marriage bill in the state Senate.
Following today's historic vote, our founder and President Evan Wolfson released this statement:
“Today’s win in New Jersey is a historic victory for committed gay and lesbian couples in the Garden state, as well as to their families and couples across the nation. We have seen yet again that as people get to know their gay and lesbian friends, families and neighbors, heart and minds change. In New Jersey, we understand that same-sex couples need the critical safety-net of protections and meaning that only come with marriage, and civil union is no substitute. Marriage says family like no other word, and brings dignity and respect to the couples who participate in it.“We would not be here without the outstanding leadership of Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Oliver; and we congratulate our colleagues at Garden State Equality, who have worked tirelessly for years to bring us here. We look forward to seeing the first gay and lesbian couples marry in New Jersey.”
Freedom to Marry is proud to have played a leading role in the effort to win marriage in New Jersey. We invested over $200,000, including funding for field work, phone banks, lobbying, statewide advertisements and support for the staff of Garden State Equality.
The bill is now on its way to Governor Chris Christie. If he does in fact veto the legislation as promised, we'll have until January 2014 to secure the necessary votes to override his veto.
The energy here Trenton today is truly incredible- countless couples and dedicated advocates celebrating after years of hardwork and organizing has finally come to fruition. I'm sticking around for the Press Conference and reception, so be sure to follow @freedomtomarry on Twitter for more updates from the post-vote festivities!