NJ Lawmaker Proposes Marriage Equality Bill

NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora is talking about introducing a marriage equality bill there though its chances are slim to none, the Star-Ledger reports:

Gusciora In New Jersey, it’s the first time a lawmaker has put forward a bill on gay marriage since it was defeated in the state Senate in January 2010 — just before Gov. Chris Christie took office.

Nor is it likely to go much further in New Jersey this time. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, a Democrat, says he’ll sign a measure approving gay marriage, but Christie, a Republican, is not so inclined. Although supporters say they’ve persuaded several New Jersey Democrats who abstained last time to vote yes, that won’t matter unless they can get every Democrat on board and pick off three Republicans to make a veto-proof majority of 27 votes.

Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, said the best way to pursue gay marriage is through the courts.

Christie recently told CNN's Piers Morgan that he believes in civil unions, not marriage, for gays and lesbians.

Comments

  1. Robert says

    I fail to see how going through the courts to legalize SSM is the way to go, assuming it can be overturned by referendum? We saw what happened in California and Maine and Iowa will probably go the same way.

  2. Editorial Consistency says

    If a bill has been introduced the chances of passage of which are slim to none, aren’t you obliged to include the adjective “frivolous?” If you’re going to absurdly over-egg the adjectival pudding (and you do), shouldn’t you make some vague attempt at consistency?

  3. XT says

    @Robert, Unlike California, NJ does not have initiative and referendum law to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

    The only way to amend the constitution is if both houses of the NJ Legislature agree to the amendment by a 3/5 majority in a single year or a simply majority of both houses approve the proposed amendment two years in a row.

    Only then can the amendment be placed on the ballot for a popular vote.

    To date, there has been little interest in the legislature to amend the constitution — certainly not enough to get 3/5 majority in both houses and possibly not even enough to get a simple majority.

    I don’t think many republicans would support it here. I would bet if Christie didn’t have national aspirations his opposition to SSM would likely be even more tepid.

  4. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    NJ has no mechanism for public referendums.
    Laws can only be changed or amended by the NJ Legislature…or be adjudicated as unconstitutional and sent-back for revisions to the Legislature by the NJ Courts.

    New Jersey has “civil unions-same-as-civil marriage” laws now, with extensive G/L civil and public protections. The crux of the public argument is about the word “marriage”, …semantics, not the substance of the law.

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