New Jersey State Assemblyman Chris
Brown on Wednesday announced his support for gay marriage.
At a legislative debate, Brown, who
voted against a marriage bill approved by lawmakers in 2012, said
that he had reversed course on the issue and pledged his support for
an effort to override Governor Chris Christie's veto.
“This is a decision I came to on my
own,” Brown told PolitickerNJ.com
after the debate. “I just believe when it comes to civil rights, I
don't believe it's appropriate for the people to vote on it.”
Two additional Assembly Republicans,
Declan O'Scanlon and Holly Schepisi, who were absent during last
year's vote, also recently endorsed the effort. Brown is the first
to change his vote.
Last month, Schepisi told the Times
of Trenton that her deciding factor was the Supreme Court's June
decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which
prevented federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of
gay and lesbian couples. The decision left New Jersey gay couples in
a civil union on an unequal footing with those in a marriage who are
able to access federal benefits.
Supporters need to find 7 more votes in
the Assembly and 3 in the Senate before January to beat Christie's
group opposes gay marriage in New Jersey.)