Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Monmouth) said, “This issue evokes strong emotion on both sides and we know the reality of the situation: there are not enough Democrat and Republican votes to override a veto and Governor Christie has consistently said he believes this decision belongs to the people and a majority of New Jersey agrees with him.
Today’s vote provides false hope to people who want to legalize same-sex marriage. We all know the quickest path right now for same-sex marriage is a public vote in November that would immediately make it legal and protected by the Constitution. A majority of New Jersey, including those who have opposite opinions on this issue, share a common belief that this should be decided by public referendum, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released this week. Unlike other states, here in New Jersey, our question is for voters to affirmatively approve, not ban gay marriage. Let’s put this on the ballot and give people the right to decide how New Jersey defines marriage.”
Washington State enacting marriage equality on Monday becoming the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage.
The bill also includes another religious exemption stating that no religious society, institution or organization in this state serving a particular faith or denomination shall be compelled to provide space, services, advantages, goods or privileges related to the solemnization, celebration or promotion of marriage if such solemnization, celebration or promotion of marriage is in violation of the beliefs of such religious society, institution or organization.
The measure also states that no civil claim or cause of action against any religious society, institution or organization, or any employee thereof, shall arise out of any refusal to provide space, services, advantages, goods or privileges.
Under the bill, partners who have previously established a civil union may apply for a marriage license and would receive the license immediately, without the usual 72-hour waiting period between application for, and issuance of, the license. The usual fees for a marriage license would apply to same sex couples.
The bill would take effect on the 60th day following enactment.
The measure is also sponsored by Assembly members Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), Mila Jasey (D-Essex), John McKeon (D-Essex), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) Jason O’Donnell (D-Hudson), John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), and Timothy Eustace (D-Bergen).