New Jersey assembly OKs gay marriage; veto awaits

TRENTON, New Jersey Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:47pm EST

Phil Fung (R) holds hands with Shawn Klein, his life-partner of 18 years, during their marriage ceremony on the 61st floor of the Empire State Building in New York, February, 14, 2012.    REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Phil Fung (R) holds hands with Shawn Klein, his life-partner of 18 years, during their marriage ceremony on the 61st floor of the Empire State Building in New York, February, 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Burton

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TRENTON, New Jersey (Reuters) - The New Jersey Assembly passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage on Thursday, sending the bill to Republican Governor Chris Christie, a possible vice-presidential candidate who has promised to veto the measure.

The Assembly vote of 42 to 33 followed Senate approval on Monday and increased the scrutiny on Christie, a supporter of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney who has attempted to deflect controversy by saying the matter should be settled by voters in a referendum.

Both chambers lack the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto by Christie blocking gay marriage, a hot-button social issue that is gaining traction in the 2012 U.S. presidential election campaign.

In Maryland, the House of Delegates delayed until Thursday evening its debate on the contentious "Civil Marriage Protection Act" sponsored by Governor Martin O'Malley, who is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party.

The bill was passed by two House committees on Tuesday, but it remains unclear if O'Malley and his allies have pulled together the 71 votes needed to clear the full House. Comparable legislation failed to pass a year ago when a number of African-American Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the bill.

O'Malley, a gay marriage supporter, has attempted to sway the black lawmakers, many of whom are hesitant to back an issue opposed by much of Maryland's black clergy.

The action in the Maryland and New Jersey statehouses follows passage of a same-sex marriage bill in Washington state, where Governor Christine Gregoire signed it into law on Monday, but it will not take effect until at least June.

Opponents are working to gather signatures for a ballot initiative in November that would block the law. One group of repeal advocates is also seeking a referendum in early March to put the issue directly to the state's voters.

A federal appeals court in California earlier this month overturned that state's gay marriage ban, enacted through a 2008 ballot initiative. That sets up a possible showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court over the matter.

So far, six states are able to perform same-sex weddings: New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Iowa. Washington is poised to become the seventh, although the law could be blocked by a ballot initiative.

New Jersey's Democratic leadership, which controls both houses of the legislature, has made gay marriage a top priority this session, saying the state's civil union law does not adequately protect same-sex couples.

The initiative now shifts to Christie, who has 45 days to veto the bill but has vowed to do so immediately.

Democrats do not currently appear to have enough votes to override the veto with a two-thirds majority, though they have until the end of 2013 to try.

(Additional reporting by Alice Popovici in Annapolis, Md; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Anthony Boadle)

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Comments (24)
dc2ndtest wrote:
The haters of gays may be losing this battle; however, they just turned up the tortute on their “war on women”.

how coiuld any supporter of human and civil rights cll themselves a Republicasn. Ev Dirksen, Nelson Rockefeller, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln would projectile vomit in the faces of these fascist freaks.

Feb 15, 2012 9:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
honisty4you wrote:
They just want the same rights as Catholic Priests have, except the sex with children part. Funny thing though, if a Catholic Priest has sex with a child, against his will, you will forgive the Priest.If two same sex adults love each other, and have sex, you will condemn them to Hell for eternity. Strange sense of right and wrong you have there.

Feb 15, 2012 9:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Loughran wrote:
A history of Marriage
2. Polygynous: Probably the most common form of marriage in the bible, it is where a man has more than one wife.
3. Levirate Marriage
4. When a woman was widowed without a son, it became the responsibility of the brother-in-law or a close male relative to take her in and impregnate her. If the resulting child was a son, he would be considered the heir of her late husband. See Ruth, and the story of Onan (Gen. 38:6-10).
5. A man, a woman and her property — a female slave
6. The famous “handmaiden” sketch, as preformed by Abraham (Gen. 16:1-6) and Jacob (Gen. 30:4-5).
7. A man, one or more wives, and some concubines
8. The definition of a concubine varies from culture to culture, but they tended to be live-in mistresses. Concubines were tied to their “husband,” but had a lower status than a wife. Their children were not usually  heirs, so they were safe outlets for sex without risking the line of succession. To see how badly a concubine could be treated, see the famous story of the Levite and his concubine (Judges 19:1-30).
9. A male soldier and a female prisoner of war
10. Women could be taken as booty from a successful campaign and forced to become wives or concubines. Deuteronomy 21:11-14 describes the process.
11. A male rapist and his victim
12. Deuteronomy 22:28-29 describes how an unmarried woman who had been raped must marry her attacker.
13. A male and female slave
14. A female slave could be married to a male slave without consent, presumably to produce more slaves.
15. Today “one man and one women” means serial relationships with many people, it is called divorce ( 3 out of 4) and remarriage.
And you have the unmitigated gaul to call same sex marriage perverted?
Even the church sanctioned same sex ceremonies until the 18th Century (Yale history professor John Boswell has discovered that a type of Christian gay marriage did exist as late as the 18th century) Jesus blessed the Centurion and his young lover in Matthew 8:5-13 & Luke 7:1-10).
I think these same sex haters have something deep inside that they are ashamed of that sparks rage against open same sex people.

Feb 15, 2012 10:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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