NJ Dems To Try To Override Veto On Gay Marriage
By Angela Delli Santi
Originally printed 2/28/2013 (Issue 2109 - Between The Lines News)
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -
Democratic leaders in the New Jersey Legislature have agreed to try to override Republican Gov. Chris Christie's gay marriage veto, and are open for the first time to putting the question to voters in November if the override attempt fails.
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora of Trenton, one of two openly gay state lawmakers, said Democratic leaders in the Senate and Assembly agreed to renew the push for marriage equality during a meeting Thursday. The strategy could include putting the question to voters in November with Christie on the ballot. The governor, who is Catholic, opposes same-sex marriage.
The November ballot already will include a question on whether the state should raise its minimum wage and is likely to have Democratic Sen. Barbara Buono, who supports both the minimum wage increase and gay marriage, at the top of the ticket facing Christie.
"This could be a perfect storm to get out the Democratic base," Gusciora said.
Christie, who vetoed the gay marriage bill a year ago, has urged lawmakers to put the question to voters.
"On this issue, I am comfortable with the people of the state of New Jersey making the decision," Christie said Tuesday in Lavallette. "If they want to put it on the ballot, put it on the ballot."
Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat who was opposed to gay marriage in 2010 but has come to regret that decision and now supports it, has previously refused to put the question to voters. He has said same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue that does not belong on the ballot. However, Sweeney and Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald recognize the difficulty of overriding Christie and have agreed to keep their options open, Gusciora said.
This displeases Troy Stevenson, who recently took over as head of Garden State Equality, the state's largest gay-rights organization. Stevenson, who worked in Maine in 2009 on the losing side of a gay marriage referendum, said the effort to win marriage equality by ballot initiative is divisive, expensive and incredibly rough on families headed by same-sex partners.
"We still believe override is the immediate goal," he said.
The Democratic-led Legislature has never been successful in overriding a Christie veto. They'd need a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and Assembly, which means some Republicans would have to be willing to cross the governor.
The effort will start in the Senate, where Sweeney will need to persuade 27 of 40 senators to support gay marriage. The Assembly would need yes votes from 54 of its 80 members.
Stevenson acknowledges that if the vote were held next week, the override would fail. But he holds out hope that an expected June ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on the Defense of Marriage Act could bring new momentum - and votes - if the court rules as gay activists hope.
Three states approved gay marriage in ballot questions in November, with President Barack Obama at the top of the ticket - Maine, Maryland and Washington.
- Study Suggests Genetic Link For Male Homosexuality
- Shelter in Kansas City Won't House Gay Couples
- Gay Marriage Issue Now Linked To Ohio Senator
- Another Top Ohio Republican Speaks On Gay Marriage
- Pope Reinforces Traditional Family Values
- Election 2014: LGBT Candidates Make Some History Across U.S.
- Republican Sweep Captures Senate And Some Pro-Gay Governors
- LGBT Veterans Still Denied Equal Federal Benefits
- GLSEN Releases New National School Climate Survey On America's Middle And High Schools
- NCAVP 2013 Intimate Partner Violence Report
- Transgender Michigan Teen Shares Story On National Stage
- CEO Of Apple Tim Cook: 'I'm Proud To Be Gay'
- Guide To Elections Across the U.S.
- 5th Circuit Court Sets Date To Hear SSM Cases
- Federal Gov. To Recognize Same-Sex Married Couples In Six More States
- Hook-Up Related Homicide In Pennsylvania
- Bishops Scrap Welcome To Gays In Sign Of Split
- Federal Judge Strikes Down Arizona Same-Sex Marriage Ban
- October Surprise At The Supreme Court
- Alaska Will Issue Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples
- Campus; Student and Alumni Groups
- GLOBE (Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Equity)
- Foundations and Funders
- The Forum Foundation
- Green Thumb Garden Center
- Pet Training
- Camp Bow Wow Clarkston
- Between The Lines
- Symphony Orchestra
- Lansing Symphony Orchestra
- Fox Theatre
- Oakland University Dept. of Music, Theatre & Dance
- Animal ER Center
- Youth Services
- Neutral Zone
Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more
- Q&A: Lisa Kudrow On Judging 'Drag Race' (As Valerie Cherish!) & Gays Being Biologically 'Superhuman'
- Q&A: Andy Cohen On His (Almost) Tell-All Book, 'Nasty' Names Gays Call Him
- GOP Hopeful Wants 'Christians' Fleeing MI If Gays Get Civil Rights
- Divine Intervention: Bette Midler Talks Early Gay Support, 'Diva' Degradation & Twerking ('Girls, Please!')
- Creep of the Week: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters today!
This Week's Issue
Download or view this week's print issue today!
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletters today!