Backers of gay marriage in New Jersey
are calling on lawmakers to approve a gay marriage bill before
Governor Jon Corzine leaves office in mid-January.
Corzine lost his bid for a second term
as leader of the Garden State to Republican Chris Christie on
Tuesday. During the campaign, Corzine promised the gay community if
reelected he would push through – and sign – a gay marriage bill
in the Legislature. Despite the loss, gay activists are pressuring
lawmakers to approve the bill.
On Wednesday, Garden State Equality,
the state's largest gay rights advocate, released a 60-second
television commercial urging lawmakers to act on gay marriage.
“There's a new urgency since Christie
was elected” on Tuesday, Steven Goldstein, the group's chairman,
The bill is expected to be introduced
by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat from the Borough of
Princeton. Democrats hold a slim majority in both chambers of the
Results from Tuesday's election,
however, might dampen enthusiasm for the plan which has been
simmering for months. In Maine, voters disagreed with lawmakers and
“vetoed” a gay marriage law signed into law in the spring. Gay
marriage foes in New York successfully ousted Dede Scozzafava, a
moderate Republican who supports gay marriage, off the Republican
ticket in the 23rd Congressional District. And in New
Jersey, Christie's win over Corzine could be interpreted as a
rejection of gay marriage.
Christie, an opponent of gay marriage,
warned that if Corzine signed a gay marriage bill during a lame-duck
session, he would back an effort to put a gay marriage ban into the
state's constitution once in office.
Corzine's allegiance to gay marriage
supporters is also in question. The former U.S. senator publicly
opposed gay marriage as recently as 2007.