Recently I blogged on developments in the debate of same-sex civil unions and marriage in New Jersey. The Star Ledger along with other media outlets have reported that the vote on the bill in the New Jersey Senate to approve gay marriage, scheduled for Thursday, December 10, 2009, has been postponed. Instead, the bill approving gay marriage will now be put before the Assembly Judiciary Committee for debate. Opponents of the bill are calling this a retreat by supporters of the bill. To read a recent Rutgers University Eagleton Institute of Politics report on religious supporters and opponents click here.
Like the federal government, a bill must be voted on and pass by both the Assembly (House of Representatives in the Federal Government) and Senate, before it is sent to the governor for him to sign or veto. Usually if a bill does not have enough votes to pass, the Senator who introduced the bill, in this case Senators Ray Lesniak (D-Union) and Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), will not put it up to be voted on. In this case the Star Leger is reporting that the bill is supported publicly by only 13 Senators, with 18 publicly opposing the bill, and the remaining 9 are undecided or not stating their positions. With only a couple of weeks left in the Corzine administration, it is now or never for supporters of the same-sex marriage bill. Governor-elect Christopher Christie, who is opposed to same-sex marriage, has already stated that he will veto any same-sex marriage bill. These next couple of weeks will determine if the Garden State will allow same-sex marriage ……….stay tuned.