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NJ Democrats Say They Will Hold Vote to Override Chris Christie's Veto of Marriage Equality Bill: VIDEO


New Jersey Senate Democrats, led by Senate President Stephen Sweeney, held a press conference yesterday announcing that they would hold a vote to override Governor Chris Christie's veto of a marriage equality bill the legislature passed last year.

Sweeney urged Republicans to allow a "conscience vote" on the issue given the Supreme Court's strikedown of DOMA, the NJ Star-Ledger reports:

But first, Sweeney said, at least a few Republicans have to change their no votes to yes. The Senate president said Christie has intimidated GOP lawmakers, claiming some have privately admitted they would like to change their votes to allow same-sex marriage.

Later in the day, Christie scoffed at that suggestion, saying he gives advice to legislators but he’s "not the one down there pushing the buttons."

Watch Sweeney make the announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. They don't have the votes to override Christie's veto. If they lose, it's a victory for the GOP's favorite bovine bloviator and our enemies. Be very careful with this, NJ Dems.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 3, 2013 1:54:35 PM

  2. I suspect this is exactly what Christie wants. He will be able to maintain his anti-marriage stance (crucial to wooing the rabidly anti-gay Republican base), yet preside over a state with equal marriage. Then if he gets the nomination he can "evolve" on the issue to try to grow his right/center coalition.

    Posted by: Trev | Jul 3, 2013 2:08:07 PM

  3. I really don't understand why they don't just put it up to the people. I have faith the people of New Jersey would pass this relatively easily. I know people dont like the idea of our rights put up to a vote, but it's better than having a rights blocked by Christie.

    Posted by: JP | Jul 3, 2013 2:12:06 PM

  4. JP, it's not an either/or situation (and, for that matter, there's also a court case making its way through the NJ court system that could bring marriage equality to NJ). If this vote is held and it fails, there could still be a state-wide referendum on the matter. But, you're correct that putting the civil rights of a minority group on the ballot is repugnant to many and some NJ Democrats have been fairly vocal about that. I agree with Trev in that I don't think Christie actually cares about this issue at all other than how he can use it to play to conservative republicans in the 2016 primaries.

    Posted by: Jere | Jul 3, 2013 2:23:48 PM

  5. There's really no harm in trying the override. If it fails, it would be a very shallow "victory" for Christie and the GOP, only to be lost at the ballot ... which would play very nicely for us. Think of it: "The GOP and Christie stood firm! ... against the will of the people, but then the people spoke."

    There's no harm in trying this if the polling in NJ is to be believed. It's a win/win in the long run.

    Posted by: LeoMDK | Jul 3, 2013 2:24:29 PM

  6. Attaching a NAME to a VOTE keeps folks accountable. Let them vote their conscience and see who are the real bigots,the real haters,the real hypocrites and who really is on the side of equality(actions matter and words are just words after all).

    Posted by: SFshawn | Jul 3, 2013 2:29:08 PM

  7. It's too bad Sweeney didn't want to do this in 2009.
    They had a governor who would have signed the bill but he helped kill it on the Senate floor because it was a divise social issue (one that he could use later.)
    Christie is a scumbag but Sweeney is no better.

    Posted by: Kevin | Jul 3, 2013 2:29:50 PM

  8. What baffles me the most about Christie is how such an obviously flawed individual (re:whale)
    can use his position of power to hurt anyone else. He's in such a vulnerable place himself and surely has suffered injustices as a result of his "lifestyle choices". Can't people like him connect the dots and find some empathy?

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Jul 3, 2013 2:41:48 PM

  9. If this vote didn't go through without his support, this could actually just make Christie a weaker candidate for the GOP in 3 1/2 years; considering how the momentum is going even now, what is the situation going to be right before the next elections? I assume (and sincerely hope) that the country's thinking will be much farther avanced and accepting. But yet again, the GOP only dream about the past and salivate over returning to the "morals" of the 1950s—the future doesn't seem to matter one iota to them, on all levels.

    Posted by: tinkerbelle | Jul 3, 2013 2:46:26 PM

  10. "not the one down there pushing the buttons"

    Sorry, but that stinks of some old mafia boss running the show without having to get his hands dirty.

    Posted by: kpo5 | Jul 3, 2013 2:49:17 PM

  11. Kevin, I agree that Sweeney's resistance hurt our efforts when Governor Corzine was still in office but absolutely reject the notion that Sweeney, who has become a committed advocate for this cause, is no better than the loathsome Christie.

    There are few political races on the horizon which are as frustrating to watch as this year's New Jersey gubernatorial race, with Dems and late-night talk show hosts tripping all over themselves to warm up to Christie simply because he did his job and treated the President with respect right before last year's election. People need to wake up and look at this man's real record.

    New Jersey is the ONLY state where a single individual is all that stands between LGBT residents and marriage equality. If Christie is defeated this November, New Jersey will have marriage equality. Period. If Christie wins, then the fates of New Jersey's LGBT residents lie with a court case or a possible veto override and those same residents could wait years longer for equality.

    Christie's statement last week denouncing SCOTUS for its historic rulings in our favor was as nauseating as his arm-twisting of state Republicans over the last few years to prevent them from voting for marriage equality.

    While the prospects of taking Christie down this November currently appear dim, let's not forget races like the 1997 New Jersey gubernatorial race or the 2009 NYC mayoral race, where Northeastern Republican-ish candidates ended up getting much closer races from Dem challengers than initially anticipated. Regardless of whether we can win this or not, we need as a community, along with our allies, to stand on principle and galvanize to support a great ally, Senator Barbara Buono, against the anti-gay Christie and his efforts to deny us equality. Get the word out for Senator Buono!

    Posted by: Patric | Jul 3, 2013 3:04:04 PM

  12. Before the DOMA ruling, Republicans could say that they were for equal rights, just against calling gay unions "marriage." That was a stupid position but one that at least allowed them to say that they were not opposed to equal rights. After DOMA has been struck down, they can no longer say that. Their refusal to allow the term "civil union" be replaced with "marriage" clearly makes gay and lesbian couples second-class citizens. They are now the ones who are preventing NJ gay and lesbian couples from accessing federal rights. Make them vote. Put them on record as the bigots they are.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 3, 2013 3:17:11 PM

  13. I will say I too have been sickened over the drooling for Christie.
    The man is as far right as anyone else,he simply hides it better.
    Bottom line,it still won't get him the nomination in 2016.
    Republicans view him as costing them the election and this will burn his bridges with Democrats and Indepenents. Win win all around.

    Posted by: Kevin | Jul 3, 2013 3:17:48 PM

  14. Agree with you, Kevin, that Christie is as awful as the rest of his party and that he won't be the 2016 Repug nominee, despite all his efforts to cozy up to the anti-gay base.

    Jay, I think you give Republicans far too much credit. While there are of course some exceptions, most of them have not been supportive of CUs. Look at the votes which have taken place on CUs in states across the nation, including Colorado this year. Most have in fact taken the position that the relationships of gay and lesbian couples are entitled to no legal recognition of ANY sort.

    Posted by: Patric | Jul 3, 2013 3:26:49 PM

  15. Governor Krispy Kreme is just as loathsome and evil as all the other hate fueled Koch Bros puppets in the GOP.

    There is gonna one big fat grease fire in Hell when this tubbo dies.

    Posted by: Mike in nyc | Jul 3, 2013 3:36:33 PM

  16. Governor Krispy Kreme is just as loathsome and evil as all the other hate fueled Koch Bros puppets in the GOP.

    There is gonna one big fat grease fire in Hell when this tubbo dies.

    Posted by: Mike in nyc | Jul 3, 2013 3:36:34 PM

  17. I don't see how Christie could object to a veto override except maybe that on a national level it might make him look weak. However, the timing of this is really hurting his nomination chances in 2016, by which time this whole issue might have blown over. He's on the wrong side of history at just the time when it can come back and bite him. Putting the issue on the ballot might increase the liberal vote in Nov, but also increase the conservative vote and bring down the black vote. I'm sure they are playing the election odds here.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 3, 2013 3:40:26 PM

  18. dag, is he getting bigger?????

    Posted by: redball | Jul 3, 2013 5:33:54 PM

  19. Some facts about New Jersey politics: Gov. Christie has control over the Republican legislators. A few years ago, when Christie vetoed a budget because he objected to funding for family planning services, i.e. Planned Parenthood. The budget passed by veto-proof majorities. However, after Christie's veto, he bullied the Republicans who voted for the budget into changing their votes on the override. To this day, Planned Parenthood is still unfunded in New Jersey and 6 clinics have already closed.

    Patric, while I share your distaste for Christie and your respect for Democratic candidate Barbara Buono, your faith in Sweeney is misplaced. The man is not so secretly in cahoots with Christie. They're funded by the same benefactor. Sweeney has all but openly endorsed Christie for governor. He withheld and then advanced bills that would benefit Christie during an election year. Whether and when Sweeney will call for an override depends entirely on Christie's whim.

    So Christie controls all the Republican legislators as well as some of the key Democratic ones. What New Jersey's equality activists are hoping for is that Christie may ALLOW them to override his veto behind the scenes, even as he condemns equality in public. Or, as Patric astutely points out, we could just vote him out and be done with this nonsense.

    Posted by: LetSodomRing | Jul 3, 2013 5:51:36 PM

  20. Is there no way we can effectively take his bigotry to the people? I don't think the average NJ voter even knows what his position on marriage equality is, let alone DOMA. They need to be appealed to in some way, it may be a big boost to Buono's chances if done correctly.

    Posted by: Bruno | Jul 3, 2013 8:25:48 PM

  21. @Patric and others:
    Fat Hater is not the ONE person standing against equality: he is supported by very strong catholic organizations, and is their front.
    He is NOT going to be defeated in November. If he were beatable, Cory Booker would have run for Governor (the job he is better suited to), not Senator


    Posted by: Bob | Jul 4, 2013 3:30:06 AM

  22. Count your votes carefully before doing it. I hope you succeed in shoving it in Crispy creams face!

    Posted by: John Simpson | Jul 4, 2013 4:35:46 PM

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