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The New Jersey bill which would have moved the state toward making gay marriage legal in the Garden State was rejected. CNN reported that the bill passed through the state's Senate Judiciary Committee last month, but that the bill needed 21 votes in order to continue its route towards passage. The current governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine had vowed to sign the bill if it is passed. However, he will be replaced by Republican Gov.-elect Chris Christie on Jan. 19, 2010, who had gone on record to say that he would veto the bill.
Many opponents of the bill predicted that it would not pass in the State Senate. According to NJ.com, there were only 13 senators who supported the bill publicly. That means that NJ gay marriage bill sponsors needed another 8 senators to support the bill which may have been too difficult a task. NJ.com reported that Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) said that he would not keep the bill on the floor that long because he thought that the senators have made up their mind: "There's no reason to leave the board open, thinking and praying that someone's going to have a change, a conversion of moral conscience." It only got 14 votes out of the necessary 21 votes.
It would have been the sixth state to legalize gay marriage. According to CNN, other states that have passed a law to make gay marriage legal are: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa. The District of Columbia passed a bill that would legalize gay marriage last month, but it still needs to undergo a 30 day review period by Congress. By law, Congress has the right to review and reject laws that are passed by the District of Columbia's city council. However, New Jersey now joins recent states Maine and New York to reject gay marriage.
NJ gay marriage opponents argued that the supporters should be content with the state's allowance of civil unions. They claimed that gay marriage supporters want to destroy the sanctity of marriage. NJ.com quoted Rabbi Yehuda Levin, with the Rabbinical Alliance of America as saying, "They're still not happy. They want to dilute marriage."
In the meantime, many people who supported the bill are disappointed at the failure of it to pass in the New Jersey Senate. Gov. Jon Corzine told Philly.com, "Most assuredly, this is an issue of civil rights and civil liberties, the foundation of our state and federal constitutions. Denying any group of people a fundamental human right because of who they are, or whom they love, is wrong, plain and simple."
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