New Jersey state Senate Democratic leaders and gay marriage advocates feel its time same-sex marriage is legalized in the state of New Jersey and the only person in the way of that is Governor Chris Christie who vetoed the same-sex marriage bill back in 2012 after the state Assembly passed the bill. As reported by USA Today on July 2, Democrats are turning to Republicans in hopes of persuading them to override Christie’s veto.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat from Gloucester, N.J., feels the governor is blocking Republican lawmakers from voting for the bill. He states that he will not schedule an override vote until the advocates tell him to. He says:
“The advocates deserve the opportunity to drive this bus because it’s impacted their families so much. This is an issue that’s not going to go away.”
The issue of same-sex marriage has gained momentum, especially with the historic rulings by the Supreme Court striking down both DOMA and Proposition 8. It sent a clear message that opposition is declining and the definition of marriage on a federal level has changed, but still the battle continues in New Jersey where it is becoming a personal issue amongst Democratic leaders like Sen. Barbara Buono who is also a Democratic nominee for governor. Buono has a daughter who came out a few years ago and the issue not only affects her daughter but it affects her family and she had no problem criticizing Christie as both a politician and a man.
She told the Associated Press:
“This is a governor – There’s one man in New Jersey that stands in the way of marriage equality, one man who is saying that their live is just not good as everyone else’s.”
Christie has refuted Sweeney’s accusation that he is preventing lawmakers from voting. He believes the issue should be left up to the voters but Sweeney feels it is an “insult” to leave civil rights in the hands of the popular vote. So the argument goes back and forth between lawmakers in New Jersey.
Hopefully both sides can come together for gay couples who just want their love recognized for what it is and not limited just because of who they are. It is disappointing for many gay couples in New Jersey that their state is one of only two states in the northeast where their love is not legal.