By Darryl R. Isherwood | June 20th, 2011 - 4:16pm
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Senate President Steve Sweeney told his colleagues on the floor of the Senate today that his nay vote on the marriage equality act was the worst mistake of his legislative career.

Sweeney was explaining his reasons for standing up in favor of pension and health reforms that have proved to be unpopular among public employee unions and even among members of his own caucus.

"I made a decision based purely on political calculations not to vote in support of marriage equality," Sweeney said. "I failed in my responsibility as majority leader of this house of government to actually lead. I was wrong. To my fellow colleagues, to staff, and to those watching upstairs, let me tell you: never, ever again will I allow that to happen."

Steven Goldstein, Chairman of Garden State Equality, said he was touched by Sweeney's comments.

"I welcome Senator Sweeney's pronouncement today with open arms," he said. "There is no question that because of Sweeney's support and the changing sentiment of others in the Senate that we would pass marriage equality in the Senate today," he said. "Do we have enough votes to override a veto? We do not."

"I find it very impressive that a politician should be so introspective and nobody is putting a gun to his head. He did it on his own and that means a lot to us, it really does."

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"When you're asked to cast a vote on a bill and it seems innocuous, and it's got a hidden land mine that perhaps only an expert would see, it would sort of behoove those experts to tell us in advance rather than make us look, shall we say, a little bit indecisive later on." - Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25).

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