New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila
Oliver announced on Monday that a bill legalizing gay marriage would
be put to a vote next week, the AP reported.
Oliver met privately with Assembly
Democrats before announcing the vote would be held on Thursday,
February 16, two
weeks after an Assembly panel approved the measure.
The Senate is expected to debate the
bill on Monday, February 13.
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, the bill's
primary sponsor in the Assembly, told the AP that he was confident
the measure would clear the chamber, but conceded that “the final
one or two” votes had not been secured.
“This was an opportunity for
leadership to stress the importance of the vote,” Gusciora said of
the meeting. “What was stressed was a unified vote on the 16th.”
Two weeks ago, Governor Chris Christie
broke his silence on the bill. The Republican governor vowed he
would veto the bill if it reached his desk and called on lawmakers to
send the issue before voters.
He created controversy last week, when
he went on to describe his suggestion as a “magnanimous” gesture.
“The polls that I've seen show that
if this goes to the ballot, I lose,” Christie said during a town
hall. “How much more magnanimous could I be?”