December 10th, 2009
12:41 PM ET
7 months ago

New Jersey Senate delays vote on same-sex marriage

(CNN) –A New Jersey Senate vote on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state has been delayed, one of the bill's sponsors said
Thursday.

The Marriage Equality Act's sponsors, Democratic Sens. Loretta Weinberg
and Raymond Lesniak, asked for the delay on Wednesday in hopes that the Assembly would begin considering it, Weinberg said.

She also said the delay would allow the public and lawmakers to study amendments to the bill that she said protect religious institutions.

Senate President Richard Codey agreed to delay to the vote, which was originally scheduled for Thursday.


"I understand their desire to make sure this bill receives the thorough attention it deserves and therefore I have agreed to postpone tomorrow's vote until further notice," Codey said.

The bill narrowly cleared the Senate's Judiciary Committee on Monday by a vote of 7-6.

Weinberg and Lesniak said that they had requested that Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts schedule a meeting for the body's Judiciary Committee to discuss the bill, but Roberts noted that no such hearing was scheduled. He did not indicate whether he would post one.

"While I'm disappointed that the sponsors have decided to delay the Senate vote, I certainly understand the view that the public should have an opportunity to be heard in the Assembly," Roberts said.

"But I must emphasize that no hearing has been scheduled and that I am continuing to discuss this issue with our caucus to gauge whether there is enough support for it."

However, Roberts said that starting the process of considering the bill in the Assembly would give additional people time to testify.

Ahead of the Monday's vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard seven hours of testimony from people for and against the bill, Weinberg and Lesniak said.

Hundreds of people had lined up outside the chambers, and 150 people were turned away because the committee ran out of time, they said.

The bill would likely need to move through the legislature over the next few weeks to stand a chance of being signed into law.

Republican Gov.-elect Chris Christie, who takes office January 19, has said he would veto it. Outgoing Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine has vowed to sign it.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Massachusetts, and will become legal next month in New Hampshire.


Filed under: New Jersey
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Dutch/BadNewz, VA

    Don't approve it Jersey. Keep the Tri-State heterosexual-marriage only.

    December 10, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. SocialismBad

    Looks like the American people will have to overturn yet another group of politicians that refuse to listen to the majority of voters in their state. Ohhhh, the arrogance of power....

    December 10, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Ask Dick Cheney what he thinks about same sex marriage since he addresses everything else. His daughter is a lesbian and married, ask him to help.

    December 10, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Pee Wee

    The US Congress could take a lesson from these folks. Let's regroup, make sure everything is cool, then proceed. I wonder if Harry Reid thinks that Loretta Weinberg and Raymond Lesniak are on "the wrong side of history" for saying let's slow down and not rush".

    December 10, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Liberals make me puke

    Why don't you put it to a general vote you cowards! Afraid of the Catholics, Consevative and Orothodox Jews, Muslims and Mormons.....

    December 10, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Marion/Alabama

    Delay,delay,delay and dithering,when you don't know what to do. He who hesitates is lost,or afraid of the dark.

    December 10, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. Mike1952

    No Christian church should be forced to perform weddings for homosexuals. God is very clear in the Bible that he hates homosexuality for what it does to the family unit that He established. Notice, He hates homosexuality not the homosexual. He gives us free choice so that our love for Him is our choice not a forced choice. However, we suffer the consequences of our choices in this lifetime and in the life hereafter.

    December 10, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Terry from West Texas

    This is an incredibly stupid issue. I do not care what two adult Americans do in private. If they want to be married, I don't care. If they want to get divored, I don't care.

    Now if you hypocrits REALLY wanted to preserve the sanctity of marriage, we would outlaw divorce. After all, it is divorce that destroys marriages, not marriage (is this not obvious to all of us?). Further, everyone who is now divorced and has thereby destroyed a marriage should be compelled to return to their first spouse and make it work. They promised to GOD to stay together forever, but one of them burned the toast or or the other one forgot to put gas in the car so they destroyed their marriage and their sacred vow to God.

    As for those who are opposed to gay marriage, I have one question: don't you have any of your OWN business you can tend to?

    December 10, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. New Age Independent

    There are enough examples already of the people deciding this issue on their own, yet Democrats constantly try to shove this issue down the throats of the American people. This is a State's rights issue, and should only be decided by the populous, not lawmakers.

    December 10, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. aware

    Human anatomy doesn't provide for healthy same sex alliances! :(

    December 10, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Abugum Tahiru Musah

    It not good to legalize. I think both christinity and Islamic religion has preach against it. We should think what is good for the majority and God but not for few people. You the lawmakers i believe you belong to one religion or the other and if it is fair then you can go ahead but remember we will met God in the day of judgement.

    December 10, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. Bob M

    Two consenting adults should be able to marry, regardless of gender, with no equivocation on what you call their union.

    If a man and a woman, both atheists, to to city hall, obtain a license, visit a Justice of the Peace, and have him perform the appropriate ceremony, they are MARRIED. That very fact means that defacto, marriage is NOT exclusively a "religious" service, and not allowing same-sex couples to marry – and be CALLED "married" – violates the constitutional principle of equal protection under the law.

    December 10, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |