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NJ Senate Votes for Gay Marriage

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on February 15, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

New Jersey's gay marriage law took another step toward passing this week. The state's senate voted in favor of the bill. However, proponents of gay marriage shouldn't celebrate just yet. Gov. Chris Christie has said he will veto the bill if it is passed through the assembly.

New Jersey's vote came after Washington recently legalized gay marriage. Washington became the seventh state to do so. Gov Chris Gregoire signed the bill into law this past week.

Even if New Jersey's bill is doomed for a veto, it may still be something worth celebrating for gay marriage supporters.

After all, the same bill was rejected in the state's senate in January 2010. It was voted down 20-14. This year, it was passed with a vote of 24-16, according to MSNBC.

But what about New Jersey residents? Are they mainly for or against the bill? It seems that a slim majority approves. About 54% of voters said that they believed gay couples should be allowed to get married. However, the same percentage also believed that legalization of same-sex marriage should be placed on a ballot for vote.

The bill could still pass into law. Gov. Christie may veto the bill, but the state legislature could override his move. It would take 2/3 of both chambers in order to do so. The vote would also need to be completed by January 2014.

New Jersey in 2006 passed laws that created civil unions for same-sex couples. These unions provide legal protections similar to marriage, but are not called marriage.

Proponents of the New Jersey gay marriage law believe that the civil unions are not enough. They think that the civil unions create an unequal classification, according to MSNBC. Time will only tell if the legislature will be able to overcome Gov. Chris Christie's veto.

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