The New Jersey Legislature convenes for
its lame duck session Monday and a gay marriage bill will be on the
agenda, says one lawmaker.
State Senator Loretta Weinberg says
Senate leaders have assured her the bill will reach the Senate floor
for a vote, nj.com reported. Weinberg, a Democrat, ran as Governor
Corzine's running mate.
Just last week, Senator Paul Sarlo, who
chairs the Judiciary Committee overseeing the bill, said he would not
bring up the bill unless enough committee members favored passing the
bill on to the Senate floor.
“Today, as I stand here, we do not
have the votes in the Judiciary Committee,” Sarlo, a Democrat from
Wood-Ridge, told reporters.
“Until somebody can demonstrate that
we have the votes in the Judiciary Committee, it will not be posted.
I'm not going to put people in harm's way where they have to vote
'yes' or 'no' when we don't have the votes to get it out [of the
committee],” he added.
Weinberg said Wednesday she had Sarlo's
commitment that he'll move the bill.
Gay marriage backers have called on
lawmakers to approve the bill before Governor Jon Corzine leaves
office in mid-January and is replaced by Republican Chris Christie, a
gay marriage opponent who supports a gay marriage ban.
In related news, a Rutgers-Eagleton
poll of 903 adults released Wednesday found New Jersey residents
narrowly (46% to 42%) support gay marriage. And a majority (52%)
said they would accept a gay marriage law if approved by lawmakers.
“If the Legislature passes a bill on
gay marriage, results suggest that most New Jersey residents will
accept the decision,” said pollster David Redlawsk. “There will
be a strong reaction from opponents, but for the most part, opponents
actually see this as a less important issue than do supporters.”