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NJ Sen Explains No Vote on Gay Marriage


N.J. state senator Christopher Bateman said Tuesday that the state's legislature should focus on improving the civil union law, instead of allowing gay couples to marry.

Bateman, a Republican representing Branchburg, is one of six members of the senate judiciary committee who voted against the marriage bill on Monday evening.

"I believe in equal rights, and I voted for civil unions thinking that was going to achieve equal rights under the constitution, I still believe in that,'' Bateman said, reports the Asbury Park Press. "If there's a problem with the civil unions law, let's try to craft legislation to address some of these inequities.''

While claiming to be for equal rights, the state senator added that he was not willing to broaden the definition of marriage.

"I'm not ready to redefine marriage. I feel very strongly marriage is between a man and a woman," Bateman declared on Monday before the vote, according to WCBS-TV New York.

Despite Bateman's objections, the state's senate judiciary committee passed the bill with a 7-6 majority. The legislation is now before the full senate and awaiting a vote as early as Thursday.

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