Sen. Steve Sweeney Predicts Marriage Will Pass NJ Legislature And Get Vetoed By Chris Christie

SweeneyWith marriage equality headed for votes in both houses of the New Jersey legislature next week, New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney appeared Friday on The Brian Lehrer show on WNYC, the NPR affiliate, to talk about the bill's prospects. He also explained, perhaps not entirely satisfactorily, why he abstained from a marriage equality vote in 2010:

It was a political calculation … you know, I didn't want to be part of a bill that was gonna fail. And it was the wrong position to take. Because this is about civil rights, and you can't take a pass on civil rights … So, you know, we started working on this, and I'm showing the importance of this — this is no game, it's not politics, it's civil rights … It is absolutely gonna pass [the Senate] on Monday, and I expect it to pass the assembly on Thursday, and it's gonna go to the governor's desk.

… There's a whole lot that's taken place since [the last vote]. Which is people like myself recognizing that this isn't a political issue, it's a civil rights issue, and when you talk about, well, put it on the ballot — you know, the majority will always deny the minority, in almost every example, of giving what they already have. So no, we're not doing that. As a legislative body it's out responsibility to do the right thing.

But Sen. Sweeney says he nevertheless expects Gov. Chris Christie to fulfill his promise to veto any marriage equality bill to cross his desk:

Do I have any doubt? No, I expect him to veto it. I would hope, as a decent human being that I think Chris is, the governor is, that he would look at it the way we looked at it. He doesn't have to sign it. He could even let it pass by not signing it … But if he vetoes it, when he vetoes it, well, we have two years.

Listen to the interview here.


  1. Robert in NYC says

    Of course he won’t sign it. He’s a republican. He’w kow-towing to religious bigots like most in their party do. Only one republican ever signed off as governor and that was Jody Rell of Connecticut. The courts legislated for marriage equality in that state. I dont expect any more republican governors to follow suit.

    Where I live in NYS, had republican Dean Skelos been the governor instead of Andrew Cuomo last year, it would have also been vetoed even though it passed the legislature, the first state to do so and now Washington State, the second.

  2. GeorgeM says

    He’s a republican governor, hell yes he’s going to put his religion and party first, That’s what they do. He nominated a gay man because he knew this was coming, The dirt bag is not stupid. He is however a hater (like most republican and a small number of dems).

  3. GeorgeM says

    CT did it after the court ordered them to, that one doesn’t count
    The others went through the legislature, I think VT was vetoed but they voted his veto down. It was a republican governor at the time. It’s a dem now.

  4. Ted says

    What amazes me about these people is that for years they have been railing about how legalization of same-sex marriage should not be decided by the Courts, but rather by the Legislature.

    Now that the Legislature is on board, they have a new idea – put civil rights up for popular vote.

    Don’t they ever get tired of deception as a way of life? Did they think we wouldn’t notice?

  5. chub4bears says

    For the Gov to sign gay marriage legislation will kiss goodbye his chances of running for Vice-President or President in 2016. Hopefully an override 2/3 vote can be found in the next two years

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