In 2012, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie vetoed a same-sex marriage bill that had passed both chambers of the state legislature. A focused and well organized campaign has been underway since then, gaining steam — and supporters. Now, New Jersey United for Marriage, a broad coalition of state and national LGBT civil rights organizations, is making real headway.
Three more members of the New Jersey Assembly have agreed to vote to override Christie’s infamous veto. That would leave nine more votes needed to successfully override the veto, but just a few months left too. Supporters will need to come up with those votes before the end of this legislative session, January 10, 2014.
NJ United for Marriage, which includes Garden State Equality, the American Civil Liberties Union of NJ, American Unity Fund, Freedom to Marry, the Gill Action Fund, the Human Rights Campaign, and Lambda Legal, among other groups, points to yesterday’s Times of Trenton article:
The Republican, freshman Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi of River Vale, who didn’t vote earlier, now says she’ll support the override effort.
For her, the deciding factor was the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act. With DOMA dead, federal agencies can grant benefits to same-sex married couples in the 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, which allow such marriages. At one stroke, the justices ended any pretense that New Jersey’s law authorizing civil unions affords the equal rights and privileges to same-sex couples to which the New Jersey Supreme Court has said they’re entitled.
On the Democratic side, the two Assembly members who weren’t available for the original vote, Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton) and Gabriela Mosquera (D-Laurel Springs), also intend to back the override, although DeAngelo said he’ll listen to constituents on both sides of the issue first.
“I’m for equal treatment,” he told me. Carol Murphy, a spokeswoman for Mosquera, said her boss “supports same-sex marriage and will vote for the override.”
The two other Republicans who didn’t vote in 2012, Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver) and Mary Pat Angelini (R-Ocean), haven’t committed themselves, but United for Marriage members think there’s a good chance the two will end up on their side.
Image: Sue Fulton addresses the crowd in Asbury Park, July 24, 2013. Photo by Garden State Equality via Facebook.
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