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.
On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will officially kick-off his re-election campaign with a three-event tour across the state.Read More >
Campaign season now under way in Bergen County Politics is practiced year-round in Bergen County, and street-level campaigning has been going on quietly all summer. But both Republicans and Democrats say the Rutherford Street Fair on Labor Day signals a more intense phase of electioneering. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record) http://www.northjersey.com/news/campaign-season-now-under-way-in-bergen-county-1.1079080 ...
By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students. The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >
"Governor Christie ripped President Obama this summer for failing to carve out some time during a Texas fundraising swing to visit the Mexican border, where the unprecedented flood of immigrant children from Central America had reached a crisis point. ...Yet Christie is not squeezing in a tour of the troubled border during his own three-day trade and diplomatic mission to Mexico, which is set to begin on Wednesday. The governor is planning a series of meetings with Mexican officials, including President Enrique Peña Nieto and the finance and energy ministers." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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