Is same-sex marriage equality coming to New Jersey? After Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill in February that would have extended marriage to same-sex couples — saying voters should decide on the civil rights of the LGBT community — one lawmaker, personally opposed to the very concept of majority rule on civil rights, has introduced a bill doing just that. In the shadow of a poll showing 72 percent of New Jersey voters want to vote on marriage, and that they favor marriage equality by a 53 to 36 percent margin, Democrat Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, New Jersey’ first openly-gay lawmaker, introduced a bill yesterday that would allow voters to vote on marriage.
“Gusciora said he has been opposed to putting a civil rights question like marriage equality up to a popular vote. But the Assemblyman — New Jersey’s first openly gay legislator — said his constituents asked him to change his mind in light of last month’s election results,” NJ.com reports:
“I am the last person who believes civil rights should be on the ballot, but civil rights delayed is civil rights denied,” Gusciora said. “The timing is right. There is broader acceptance.”
Modeled after the Maine ballot question, the bill, (A3611) would need support in both houses of the Legislature and Gov. Chris Christie’s signature to become law. The measure would then be added to the following election-year ballot.
Gusciora said he expects the governor would sign his bill. Christie does not personally support gay marriage but has said he would sign a bill giving voters the right to decide the issue. “This is exactly what the Governor wants,” he added.
Marriage was definitely on the menu in New Jersey yesterday. Justice Antonin Scalia got schooled on marriage, equality, and anti-gay bigotry by a gay college freshman while delivering a lecture at Princeton yesterday afternoon.
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