BY ROB SALERNO – The New Jersey State Assembly has voted 42-33 in favour of marriage equality. The move comes after the state Senate voted 24-16 in favour of marriage equality on Monday.
Unfortunately, Republican Governor Chris Christie has vowed to quickly veto the bill, despite the entreaties of Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, who wrote him a letter inviting him to talk with her about how she came to support marriage equality.
Legislators can override the veto by a two-thirds majority in both houses, at any point before January 2014. That vote can be attempted as many times as necessary until then; victory would require an additional eight assembly members voting in favour and an additional three senators. Alternatively, some assembly members and senators could abstain, which would lower the threshold required to reach a two-thirds majority.
In June, Washington will join New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut,
Massachussetts, Iowa and the District of Columbia in allowing gay
marriage. The status of gay marriage in California is currently the
subject of appeals to the unconstitutionality of the state’s
anti-gay-marriage referendum, Prop 8, which will likely end with a
decision by the Supreme Court. Maine voters will decide whether to allow
gay marriage in a referendum in November, and lawmakers are also debating
the issue in Illinois and Maryland.
Of course, none of these marriages convey the full benefits of marriage because the federal Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing gay marriages.
But hopefully, soon Ronnie will finally be able to make an honest man out of The Situation.