Sunday, January 8, 2012

NJ Legislators to Introduce Marriage Equality Bill Monday

Democratic leaders in New Jersey have scheduled press conference for Monday where they will announce the introduction of legislation making same-sex marriage legal in the Garden State. The main obstacle will be getting it past the desk of Republican Governor Chris Christie.


TRENTON - In a dramatic move, Democratic leaders plan to announce at a news conference Monday that a bill legalizing gay marriage will be the first measure introduced in the new session of the Senate and the Assembly, sources with knowledge of their intentions said last night.

A unified Democratic leadership represents the best chance supporters will have to see a bill legalizing gay marriage move through both houses, according to three sources who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the plan.

State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), who is now said to be a pivotal supporter of the legislation, abstained the last time a similar bill was voted down by the Legislature in 2010 — a decision he later said he regretted more than any other in his career. A spokesman for Sweeney did not respond to questions about the plan last night.

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) will also be at the news conference, ensuring that the proposal has the support of the state’s two most powerful Democratic lawmakers. She could not be reached for comment.

But there’s a major obstacle: Gov. Chris Christie.

A spokesman for the governor, Michael Drewniak, declined to comment on the move. But Christie has emphasized in the past that he opposes gay marriage and supports civil unions, civil unions, which New Jersey currently allows.
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