Politics

New Jersey Dems Seek to Override Christie's Gay Marriage Veto

In New Jersey, gay couples may only enter civil unions and not marriages. The word choice needs to be corrected immediately so that residents can reap the new benefits granted by the Supreme Court, Democrats said.
July 3, 2013
 

The state’s top Democratic lawmakers today urged their Republican counterparts to "vote their conscience" to legalize same-sex marriage, but said some GOP lawmakers won’t do this because they don’t want to cross Gov. Chris Christie.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney said he will hold a vote to override Christie’s veto of a same-sex marriage bill that passed last year, noting that thousands of gay couples in New Jersey will be ineligible for federal benefits unless lawmakers act soon.

But first, Sweeney said, at least a few Republicans have to change their no votes to yes. The Senate president said Christie has intimidated GOP lawmakers, claiming some have privately admitted they would like to change their votes to allow same-sex marriage.

Later in the day, Christie scoffed at that suggestion, saying he gives advice to legislators but he’s "not the one down there pushing the buttons."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that denying benefits to married gay couples is unconstitutional in a landmark decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. For 13 states and Washington, D.C., the ruling had an immediate effect, extending more than 1,000 tax benefits and legal rights to same-sex married couples.

In New Jersey, gay couples may only enter civil unions and not marriages. The word choice needs to be corrected immediately so that residents can reap the new benefits granted by the Supreme Court, Democrats said.

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