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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 10, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 06
New Jersey legislature sets dates for marriage votes
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New Jersey legislature sets dates for marriage votes

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The New Jersey legislature has set the date for its vote on marriage equality.

The New Jersey Senate will vote on the measure on February 13, and the Assembly will take up the bill three days later.

Both legislative chambers are controlled by Democrats, and the bill is expected to pass. Republican Governor Chris Christie has promised to veto it, however,

A similar bill was defeated two years ago when some Democrats joined Republicans to oppose it.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney abstained in 2010, helping to defeat marriage equality, but this year he is leading the drive to pass the marriage bill. He 'made a mistake' to oppose it, he said, and now realizes that marriage is a civil rights issue.

Sweeney says he has the votes to pass the bill and will try to override Christie's veto if necessary.

New Jersey has allowed same-sex civil unions since 2007. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found New Jersey voters support same-sex marriage by a 10-point margin, 52% to 42%.

The Washington legislature has passed a marriage bill, and Governor Christine Gregoire is expected to sign it on February 15. Marriage legislation is also pending in Maryland, where Governor Martin O'Malley has made the measure the centerpiece of his legislative agenda.

LGBT rights activists in Maine hope to put a marriage initiative on the ballot this November.

In New Hampshire, Republican leaders - who control the legislature since the 2010 election - dropped plans to bring up a bill repealing their state's same-sex marriage law.

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