Governor Christie Urges NJ Democrats To Work On Real Issues [POLL]
Monday the Senate passed a bill to legalize gay marriage in New Jersey and tomorrow, the Assembly is expected to pass it. Governor Chris Christie's paraphrased message to top Democrats is essentially, 'Fine, you pass it, I'll veto it and then we can all move on.'
"They won't get enough votes to override my veto," says Christie. "They (Democrats) know it and I know it and yesterday was a good bunch of theater, but that's all it was, theater……I would assume that they're going to have the votes to pass it (in the Assembly) but then they're going to be nowhere near the votes to override in either chamber and so hopefully we can then move on from this issue."
Prior to the vote Monday in the Upper House, bill co-sponsor, State Senate Democratic Leader Loretta Weinberg said, "If you don't believe in gay marriage, don't enter into a gay marriage. It's really as simple as that………… Who are we to say that basic equal rights should be denied to any class of citizen, simply because we're uncomfortable with the nature of their relationship? The State should not be in the business of legally sanctioning homophobia by conferring separate but equal status to the legal recognition of a union between two people and that's what the perpetuation of the civil union law amounts to - government-sanctioned, legally justified homophobia."
Christie says, "If they pass it on Thursday and send it to my desk believe me I will take very swift action on the bill and then we can move on to the things that the people of New Jersey say are most important to them which is creating jobs, lowering taxes and continuing the New Jersey comeback. That's what we should be focused on, not the last month that we've spent on what really is an act of theater."
The Democrat-controlled legislature would have until January 2014 to override the Governor's veto, but they only get one shot. State Senator Ray Lesniak says when the votes are there they will try. Weinberg is preaching patience.
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.
With the Governor promising a veto and the Democrats refusing to put the issue on the ballot, gay couples who truly want to marry will find themselves no better or worse off than they are right now when all is said and done. Many are asking: So, what's the point?
State Senate President Steve Sweeney says, "Well, we will have made progress because we've passed it and put it on the Governor's desk which we couldn't do before and I'm not going to rule out a movement to try and get an override and that that is possible because anything is possible……..We've got to do first things first. We have time. Once he vetoes it, an override can come any time in the two-year session so there's plenty of time to work on people."