UPDATE: At a press conference attended by nearly a dozen top Democrats in the Senate and Assembly, Senate President Stephen Sweeney said the marriage equality bill will go to key legislative committees “immediately.’’
“Further, he said he wants a floor vote in the Senate before the budget break, which is in March. He said he expects there will be enough votes in both houses to pass the measure but noted the battle will come when the bill reaches Christie’s desk for enactment.
“It’s gonna be a fight. We expect it to be a fight,’’ Sweeney said. “The governor’s a decent person and I think we can work on educating him to the fact of what it means.’’
Marriage equality will be the very first bill considered by the New Jersey legislature when the 2012 session begins on Wednesday.
In a dramatic move, Democratic leaders plan to announce at a news conference Monday that a bill legalizing gay marriage will be the first measure introduced in the new session of the Senate and the Assembly, sources with knowledge of their intentions said last night. A unified Democratic leadership represents the best chance supporters will have to see a bill legalizing gay marriage move through both houses, according to three sources who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the plan.
In 2006 former Gov. Jon Corzine signed a bill that gave same-sex couples who form civil unions “all of the same benefits, protections and responsibilities, “that state law confers on married couples.
Gov. Chris Christie opposes same-sex marriage and has vowed not to sign any bill should one reach his desk.