Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen) spoke in opposition to the legislation, calling for “the centuries-old tradition of marriage between a man and woman to be preserved.
"Throughout human history, marriage has been a term used to describe a specific human relationship – the union of humans of different genders," Cardinale said. "It is amazing that this extremely controversial bill is the top priority of our legislative leadership, while our taxes are the highest in the country and unemployment ravages."
Sen. Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) said, “The world isn't going to end because of this vote. All that will happen is that more people will be able to marry those they love. That's it Your street, your neighborhood, your place of worship, your schools, your town...nothing will be different come tomorrow. Today was a great first step in the effort to achieve marriage equality in New Jersey. When it comes down to it, it's really just a matter of common sense and decency.”
As the Senate debated, news broke that the Washington state Legislature and governor had approved same-sex marriage. The state is the seventh to recognize gay marriage.
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer), the prime sponsor of the same-sex marriage bill in the lawer house, said, "I want to commend Washington state legislators and Governor Gregoire for having the fortitude to stand up and do what’s right. In a true display of courage and conscience, they put aside political differences to break down the biggest barrier to inequality for same-sex couples.
“This is what true leadership looks like and I applaud everyone who displayed the courage to stand up against injustice," the Assemblyman said. "It’s gratifying to see this same display of courage play out in the corridors of Trenton today as well. I look forward to the General Assembly following suit on Thursday and hope Governor Christie will find it in him to heed this call of conscience.