By Donald Scarinci | January 9th, 2013 - 12:56pm
| More

While the U.S. Supreme Court receives much of the attention for its two upcoming same-sex marriage cases, efforts to legalize the unions are also building closer to home. In the wake of several victories at the ballot box in November, New Jersey is one of several states that could be poised to take on the controversial issue in 2013.

Of course, this would not be the first time that New Jersey lawmakers considered the issue of same-sex marriage. Legislation passed in 2011, but was ultimately vetoed by Governor Chris Christie in February of 2012. He reasoned that the legalization of gay marriage should be left to voters.

While victory for same sex marriage at the ballot box may have seemed like an insurmountable feat before the November elections, the track record of victories in other states gave a clear signal that a same sex marriage referendum could win in New Jersey.  Certainly that is what Assemblyman Reed Gusciora hopes by introducing his bill, AB-3611, seeking to add a voter referendum to the ballot in NJ this year.

 If approved, the Assemblyman’s law would define marriage as a union of two consenting persons, regardless of their gender. It would also allow same-sex couples in existing civil unions to obtain marriage licenses and convert their civil unions into marriages if they so choose.

While the bill may be able to gain Gov. Christie’s approval, other lawmakers and gay rights advocates disagree over whether a civil rights issue should be left up to popular vote. They would rather gather the necessary support to change the law using the legislative process.

Shortly after the Presidential election, Loretta Weinberg told Reuters that the legislature is "within striking distance" of the two-thirds majority needed to override Christie’s veto. However, a proposed bill may not be immediately forthcoming. Given that Republicans voting in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage could face conservative backlash, Weinberg predicted the bill would most likely be introduced after the state's June primary.

Donald Scarinci is a managing partner at Lyndhurst, N.J. based law firm Scarinci Hollenbeck.  He is also the editor of the Constitutional Law Reporter and Government and Law blogs.

 

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: October 1st

Bergen County Freeholder forum mostly convivial, but at times confrontational TEANECK - The Bergen County freeholder forum on Tuesday night was a relatively collegial affair until the final two minutes on the 90-minute event. Republican freeholder candidate Robert Avery, flanked by fellow GOP freeholder candidate Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh, referred to...

Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

(10-1-14) Mayor Fulop’s Working Family Rebellion Spreads - What began as a commitment between Mayor Steve Fulop and the people of Jersey City is fast becoming a movement spreading... more »
In tribute to John Sheridan, a good and great man     I first learned late last night from television news that John P. Sheridan, Jr. and his wife, Joyce had... more »
(Trenton, NJ) --  On September 23, 2015 I shall dig this up and eat whatever crow I've got coming, but in the meantime only a listicle... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"I see Loretta Weinberg in the back of the room. Loretta, you have my eternal admiration for what you did to rid the Democratic Party of a certain political boss. However, not everyone shares that distinction." - Bergen County Republican Freeholder candidate Robert Avery

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Which of these "Mount Rushmore of Corruption" states deserves the centerpiece?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources