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Question: Should Same-Sex Marriage Come to NJ?

New York just approved same-sex marriage late Friday night - should NJ be next?

Late Friday night, the New York legislature approved a bill allowing for same-sex marriage in the state and still gave religious institutions protection if they chose to not perform the ceremony. The bill received bipartisan support from the Democratic-led Assembly 82-47 and then in the Republican-led Senate 33-29.

The bill allows for gender-neutral marriage licenses for both same- and opposite-sex couples. It also prohibits state and local courts or governments from penalizing any religious group or its employees who refuse to recognize a marriage that contradicts their doctrine or refusing to provide services and accommodations for such weddings.

Following the approval in New York, NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) stated that he believes it is time for New Jersey to follow suit. Gusciora introduced a bill earlier this month to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.

But on Sunday morning, while appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press" Gov. Chris Christie said he would not approve any bill that comes to his desk allowing for same-sex marriage and instead that New Jersey will "continue to pursue civil unions."

New York is the sixth state to allow same-sex marriage and will take effect on July 24. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C. also issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while Maryland and Rhode Island will recognize a marriage license from any of the above states. 

In the past year, a number of national polls (Washington Post/ABC News, Gallup, and CNN) have shown, for the first time that a majority of the country supports marriage equality. Support for same-sex marriage has increased by 19 percentage points since 1996, according to the Pew Research Center.

Do you think it is time that New Jersey allowed same-sex marriages?

B@B June 27, 2011 at 05:32 PM
An emphatic "YES". Either that or get the government out of the marriage business entirely. The only marriages that are "threatened" by gay marriage are those in which one partner is closeted and is able to see a way to live a life true to oneself without stigma. I've been married 25 years and been to a number of gay weddings and not one of my friends' marriages/unions has threatened mine. It will never happen as long as the theocrat Chris Christie, who believes he should govern according to his religious beliefs, is governor. But in a just world it would already be in place.
Andrea Kahn June 27, 2011 at 06:08 PM
If you stand in the way of love, all that remains is hate....YESYESYES!
Niamh van Meines June 28, 2011 at 02:15 PM
It feels like we are back in the dark ages to think that same sex marriage is an issue that still needs to be addressed. Doesn't equal rights mean everybody? I think there are probably too many conservative people in NJ for it to come about quickly but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for all my gay friends.
Joseph Dunsay June 29, 2011 at 04:46 AM
I like the NY bill. It protects the right of same-sex couples to wed and the right of churches to not participate in the weddings or recognize the marriages. NJ should pass a similar bill.

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