Update: LGBTS revving up for Tuesday’s marriage vote

1025
Princeton Pro Musica Richardson 2012

This Tuesday, a committee will decide whether the New Jersey Senate will vote on marriage equality.

Starting at 11am, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on the “Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act.” It’s expected that S.1 and A.1, the gay marriage bills in the Senate and the Assembly respectively, will easily pass committee. The real test will be when the bills come to the floor.

Senate President Steve Sweeney said that he wants a floor vote on the bill before the Congressional break in March

Senate President Steve Sweeney said that he wants a floor vote on the bill before the Congressional break in March

Marriage equality for same-sex couples is quickly becoming a key issue of 2012. Unlike the drawn out failure of the 2009 marriage bill, NJ Democratic lawmakers are committed to quickly bringing the legislation to the floor. Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney said that he wants a floor vote on the bill before the Congressional break in March.

Democratic Senator Raymond Lesniak, a prime sponsor of the bill, believes that there are enough Senate votes to overcome Governor Chris Christie’s expected veto. Although this pronouncement might be too optimistic say some of the pundits, it is becoming clear that there are enough votes to pass the bill in the Senate. Assembly Speaker Shelia Oliver, also a Democrat, said that she has majority support for the bill and is working to get enough votes to overcome a veto in that chamber of the New Jersey legislature.

Marriage equality advocates still have their work cut out for them. With Christie’s expected veto will come a desperate fight to gather enough yes votes from at least two-thirds of each chamber. Advocates say to expect the results of the marriage equality fights in Maryland and Washington state to influence legislators on both sides of the aisle. Further complicating the proceedings, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has pledged more than $500,000 to legislators that vote against the bill.

Out In Jersey will be live-tweeting on twitter  from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. You can follow OIJ’s Twitter @OutInJersey for real-time updates from the committee room.

 

This Tuesday, a committee will decide whether the New Jersey Senate will vote on marriage equality.

Starting at 11am, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on the “Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act.” It’s expected that S.1 and A.1, the gay marriage bills in the Senate and the Assembly respectively, will easily pass committee. The real test will be when the bills come to the floor.