New Jersey Senate Withdraws Marriage Equality Bill

Last week we reported that the New Jersey Senate was to take up a marriage equality bill in an attempt to enshrine this year's Supreme Court decision into state law.

WeinbergSenate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said Sunday that the bill will be pulled after objections about religious exemptions from Lambda Legal, the Star-Ledger reports:

Some lawmakers felt the legal precedent for gay marriage was not secure because its justification could be undercut if the federal government grants the same benefits to civil-unionized couples as married ones. But many advocates said the legislation (S3109) would add religious restrictions that are not addressed by the court decision, originally concessions made to win votes for an earlier version of the legislation.

“They don’t want any kind of religious exemption, so out of respect for that, I will (pull the bill),” Weinberg said. “There’s a disparate group of people and it’s hard to follow what they want, so I’m following Lambda Legal.”

Weinberg said she favors writing the ruling into law, but that “doing nothing” appears to be what many advocates want. Assembly Democrats also said last week that they were not on board with the state Senate bill.