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New Jersey Democrats to try to override veto on gay marriage

Democratic leaders in New Jersey's Senate and Assembly commit to override a gay marriage veto
New Jersey gay lawmaker, Reed Gusciora, is ready to try and override gay marriage veto

Democratic leaders in the New Jersey Legislature will try to override the state’s governor, Chris Christie's, gay marriage veto.

New Jersey lawmaker, Reed Gusciora, one of two openly gay state representatives, says Democrats agreed to renew the push for marriage equality during a meeting yesterday (21 February).

Gusciora said he met with both Senate president Steve Sweeney and Assembly majority leader Lou Greenwald and that both are committed to override the governor’s veto.

The strategy could include putting the question to voters in November if the veto override fails.

Previously, the Democratic-led legislature has been unsuccessful in overriding a Christie veto.

The bill passed 24-16 in the Senate and 42-33 in the Assembly. In the Senate, three additional votes are needed to pass the veto, while in the Assembly an additional 12 are needed for the two-thirds majority required to override (54 out of 80).

Gusciora stated: ‘I think we can get the three in the Senate.

‘But the Assembly is a different story. I can name five who might switch their vote, but it stops there’.

Sweeney has told Democrats he prefers to wait for the override until after the June primary election when Republicans may feel more free to vote for the override without fear of retribution from conservative voters or the governor.

Gusciora said the Senate president asked for polling on the issue and this would indicate where state voters stand on the issue. 

In 2007 New Jersey legalized gay civil unions; same-sex couples are provided almost all of the rights granted to married couples under New Jersey state law.

However, under the provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, same-sex couples in marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships do not have any right or entitlement to the 1,138 rights that a married couple has under federal law 

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