Just days after the New York State Senate voted down a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, the Garden State is getting ready for the debate. According to the Times, the New Jersey State Senate's Judiciary Committee is gearing up for a vote on gay marriage as early as Monday — with the full Senate preparing for a vote possibly on Thursday.
While the Judiciary Committee is expected to pass the bill, the full Senate vote will likely be closer. Democrats have the majority, but some do not support same-sex marriage rights, so in order for the bill to pass, some Republicans will need to vote for it. The paper of record notes that timing is also important because Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, who supports gay marriage, will leave office on Jan. 19 to be replaced by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who opposes it.
Despite the less-than-encouraging results of the Maine referendum and the New York State Senate vote, gay marriage supporters including Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union County) say there is a "momentum change” behind the bill, which seemed stalled until a recent petition boasting the names of more than 2,300 Democratic officials, advocates and residents began making the rounds. One insider said that the Garden State has a better chance of passing the bill than the Empire State. “New York is two different states, New York City and upstate New York,” said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton). “We’re still the progressive suburbs of Philadelphia and New York City. I believe we’re a more progressive state.”