New Jersey's Assembly is ready to skip
a judiciary hearing and bring a gay marriage bill to a vote, but only
after the Senate does the same, the Star-Ledger reported.
In a statement released on New Year's
Eve, Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts, a Democrat from Camden, said he's
heard enough about gay marriage to proceed to a vote.
“After more than seven hours of
testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Dec. 7 and
continued public debate in the weeks since, we've certainly had a
chance to hear all sides on marriage equality legislation,” said
Dismissing with a time-consuming
committee hearing is a positive development for proponents of gay
marriage as Governor Jon Corzine's administration winds down.
Governor-elect Chris Christie, a Republican, has said he would veto
But Roberts added that the Assembly
would not go first in voting for the measure.
“I've advised the Senate sponsors
that, if the bill is passed by the Senate, I am prepared to bring the
bill directly to the Assembly floor for a vote before the end of this
legislative session,” he said.
Senate sponsors of the bill postponed a
floor vote earlier in the month after it limped out of a committee
hearing in hopes that a big win in the Assembly would help boost the
bill's chances of passage in the Senate.
Christie assumes office on January 19,
leaving proponents will little time to lobby legislators and few
options. Both houses must approve the measure before Corzine leaves
gay marriage law approved by lawmakers goes into effect at midnight
in New Hampshire.