Why Gay Marriage Won’t Happen for NJ Quite Yet
2012 and 2010. Big difference.
When current Senate President Steve Sweeney abstained from voting on the gay marriage issue back in 2010, we had a democratic controlled Legislature AND a democratic Governor. A few years later, republican Chris Christie sits at the end of the hall like an impenetrable goalie making gay marriage an impossible shot. He has a potential White House run in his future and a conservative base that would need courting.
Some have pointed out that the NJ Governor does not have a pocket veto, meaning if he lets the bill just sit on his desk for 45 days doing nothing with it one way or the other, it automatically becomes law. Some feel it would be a way for him to pass it without it ever going on his record as having supported gay marriage. I don't think the public nor Chris Christie is that dumb. It would be perceived as his tacit approval and therefore won't happen.
Some say New York has passed gay marriage and we're very similar. Yet democratic Governor Cuomo championed the cause, and even worked behind the scenes to get Republican donors to promise to financially back fence sitting Republicans in their next election should they be attacked for voting in favor of gay marriage.
Unless Sweeney can come up with 27 votes to make it veto proof, we won't have gay marriage in NJ for the foreseeable future. Yet it needs to happen. Same sex couples pay first class taxes and yet enjoy second class citizen status. Their advocates will tell you as much as it may make homophobic heterosexuals feel better to throw them a civil union bone and pretend it bestows all the same rights as a married straight couple, it doesn't.