Sweeney on Marriage Equality in NJ: It Would Pass with GOP Help
Sen. President Stephen Sweeney (D) said today that NJ's gay marriage bill would pass if Gov. Chris Christie allowed the Republicans to vote for it, and said that Democrats are currently trying to collect the Republican votes necessary for an override of Christie's earlier veto.
A caller to NJ101.5 brought up the issue of marriage equality in the state today while Sweeney was a guest on the morning show.
News Director Eric Scott then asked Sweeney, “Do you believe that there are Republican members of your house that are under marching orders from the governor not to vote for the override?”
“Without question,” Sweeney said immediately. “Without question."
“The reality is, if the governor told the Republican caucus to vote their conscious, it would pass in both houses. It’s that simple.”
In late June, Christie heatedly dismissed the notion that he controlled the Republican vote, saying that the question should be put on the ballot so that the people of NJ could decide the issue.
Sweeney said they're working to get the votes necessary to override the veto, but he cautions against rushing into action warning, "If we fail, it's over."
The Democrats have failed to overturn Gov. Christie's veto in every single instance that an attempt has been made.
They have one shot to override the veto, and they need help from the GOP to do so.
Christie has firmly maintained his strong stance against gay marriage in the state, saying that he believes marriage should be between one man and one woman. Christie also promised to veto any new gay marriage legislation put before him.
On the heels of last week's U.S. Supreme court decision striking down key parts of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) Christie slammed the courts saying, "I don't think the ruling was appropriate. I think it was wrong."
On this issue, Sweeney says the governor should allow Republican members of the legislature to vote their conscious.
"He's made his position- he's made his stand- he should allow the Republicans in the legislature to vote because marriage equality would be the law in the state of New Jersey," Sweeney urges.