Who's Next? The Marriage Equality Waiting Room

Which states will be the next to institute marriage equality — and just how will it happen?



17. New Jersey, 6.75

Politically, New Jersey is similar to its big neighbor New York (before marriage, of course). In the grand scheme of things, the Garden State leans to the left, but that's despite its Republican governor, Chris Christie, a moderate who vetoed New Jersey's legislature-approved marriage bill last year. "I think our side still has a shot," Esseks says. "It might mean getting the freedom to marry through a legislative override [possible through January 2014], or potentially even with Governor Christie evolving on the issue while he's still in office."

Whether Christie is called to run for president in 2016 or is termed out of office may also affect how and when the state establishes legal marriage equality.

"If it doesn't happen before [2016] I don't see why we wouldn't be able to get a marriage equality law passed with the next governor, because the legislature has already voted for the freedom to marry, and I don't see them going back on that," Esseks says. In either case, a Democratic governor would be expected to support marriage equality, while a Republican governor could express his support without losing a ton of political capital in a state like New Jersey.