New Jersey Democrats vow to pass gay marriage

Author: Alison Bowen
Publication: Metro New York
Publication Date:

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If Democratic legislators get their way, 2012 may be the year gay marriage becomes legal across the Hudson. New Jersey elected officials promised yesterday they will introduce a bill to legalize gay marriage as the first new measure of the new year. 

At a press conference outside the State House in Trenton, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said they plan to introduce matching bills in each chamber this week. 

“What New Jersey’s legislative leaders are telling us is that the Garden State values its gay and lesbian citizens fully,” said Marc Solomon, national campaign director at Freedom to Marry.

But the state’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, is expected to stymie their plan. In the past, he has made it clear that he opposes legalizing gay marriage and instead supports civil unions, already legal in New Jersey.

In contrast, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was a key component in New York’s successful effort last year to legalize gay marriage. Couples began marrying for the first time in July. 

Two years ago, a similar effort could not get enough votes in the New Jersey Senate, failing 20 to 14, despite support from then-governor Jon Corzine.