Chris Christie Will Face a Marriage Bill Moving to Top of List



Marriage equality will be the first bill introduced in the next session of the New Jersey Senate on Wednesday, according to reports.

Democratic leaders reportedly will announce the move during a news conference on Monday, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. The news conference will be led by Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Senate president Stephen Sweeney, who is on the record as saying his abstention on a marriage equality vote last year was the "biggest mistake" of his political career.

That effort failed in the Senate by a 20-14 vote. But even if Democrats feel more confident that they have the votes needed for passage then it still must circumvent Republican Governor Chris Christie's stated opposition to the bill. After neighboring New York passed marriage equality last year, Christie said he wouldn't have signed that bill had it made it to his desk.

Earlier this year, Democrats reportedly met to examine what it would take to get the two-thirds vote needed to override a Christie veto. They hoped the governor would make clear that his decision was personal and not meant as direction to the rest of New Jersey's Republicans.

Civil unions are now legal in New Jersey and Christie has said he sees that as the right option for his state.

“I believe marriage is an institution between one man and one woman,” he told CNN’s Piers Morgan in June. “I think it’s special and unique in society, and I think we can have civil unions that can help to give the same type of legal rights to same-sex couples that marriage gives them. But I just think marriage has as a special connotation. And I couldn’t see myself changing my mind on that.”

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