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No Guarantees for NJ Marriage Equality


More than 300 advocates poured into Trenton on Monday with the goal of moving New Jersey lawmakers to vote on a marriage equality bill, but by the end of the first day of the lame-duck session, no vote was scheduled in the senate, where prospects appear more challenging than in the assembly.

Since the election three weeks ago, when Chris Christie, a Republican who opposes marriage equality, defeated incumbent Jon Corzine, legislators' confidence about a marriage equality vote has faded to concerns over the economy and a backlash from conservative voters, particularly among senators, according to The New York Times.

"But Senate Democrats met to discuss the measure on Monday and -- despite intense lobbying from a coalition of gay-rights advocates and other groups -- did not schedule it for a vote, because they appeared unable to muster the 21 votes needed to pass it. A few Republicans have said they may support the bill, but several of the 23 Democrats have expressed reservations about it," reported the Times.

Advocates face time pressure. Once the lame-duck session concludes and Christie takes office in January, the chances for marriage equality will vanish, as the governor-elect has vowed to veto the bill. Corzine has promised to sign it.

Blue Jersey posted video, shown below, of the rally and press conference for marriage equality on Monday.

As shown in the video, Sen. Loretta Weinberg, the chief sponsor of the marriage equality bill, joined the rally and expressed cautious optimism when she said, "I'm not guaranteeing anything here, but I think that we are going, this is winnable."

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Julie Bolcer