Gay Marriage Bill Expected To Pass Today, Governor Christie Vows Veto [AUDIO]
A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey is expected to get final legislative approval this afternoon. The Senate passed the measure Monday and the Assembly votes on it today.
Governor Chris Christie says he'll be standing by with his veto pen in hand.
Leading Democrats have accused Christie of strong-arming Republicans who support gay marriage into voting against the legislation. Assembly GOP Leader Jon Bramnick says that's not happening in his house.
Asked if some Republicans might vote in favor of the marriage equality bill today, Bramnick says, "Maybe, those are individual Assembly people who are going to vote their conscience on that bill. I believe that most people in the caucus believe that the public should vote on that issue. I think the public in general believes so."
Christie wants the voters to decide the issue in a November ballot question, but Democrats call same-sex marriage a civil rights issue and they feel it's the legislature's job to hash out such matters.
Bramnick says, "I don't agree with the comparison between civil rights and the definition of marriage. I don't think that that is a fair analysis. I think this is something for the voters."
Democratic State Senate President Steve Sweeney co-sponsors the gay marriage bill in the Upper House. He is staunchly opposed to putting the question on the ballot and says, "There will be no multi-million dollar media campaigns. There will be no using the issue to drum up political bases. There will be no punting the matter so it doesn't interfere with political ambitions. You either support marriage equality or you don't. There is no third option."