The New Jersey Senate will vote on a
contentious gay marriage bill Thursday.
“We're gonna post the bill and see
what happens,” Senate President Dick Codey told NBCNewYork.com.
Senate passage is considered the
largest hurdle the bill faces, making Thursday's vote its most
important. Democrats rule the chamber with two votes to spare but
remain divided on the bill. If Democrats can cobble together 21
votes to approve the measure, then it would go to the Assembly, where
the bill enjoys greater support.
Supporters of the bill, who rallied on
the steps of the Statehouse on Monday, have urged legislators to
approve the bill before Governor-elect Chris Christie, a Republican
opposed to gay marriage, assumes office on January 19. Many senators
say the loss of the governor's mansion to an anti-gay marriage
Republican is signal enough to oppose the bill.
Steve Goldstein, chairman of Garden
State Equality, the state's largest gay rights advocate, was
pleased to hear about the vote.
“Senator Codey is a great supporter
of equality and at least he kept his commitment to our community,”
A similar gay marriage bill was
defeated in the New York Senate in December.