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New Jersey gay marriage advocates look past veto to renewed fight

February 17, 2012|By Amy Hubbard
  • Advocates of same-sex marriage in New Jersey celebration the Assembly approval of the legislation on Thursday.
Advocates of same-sex marriage in New Jersey celebration the Assembly… (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles…)

New Jersey's state Assembly passed legislation to allow same-sex marriage on Thursday, and with an expected veto from Gov. Chris Christie, supporters of gay marriage are gearing up for the next step.

Steven Goldstein, leader of Garden State Equality, said that he "chose not to waste a breath in pleading" with the governor not to veto.

Goldstein, on the gay advocacy group's website, said Friday that to expect the governor to have a change of heart was "ridiculous."  (Requests to Goldstein for an interview were not immediately answered Friday.)

But in a news conference after Thursday's vote, the bill's sponsor -- openly gay Assemblyman Reed Gusciora -- still held out hope.

"Scrooge, after a good night's sleep, changed his mind," Gusciora said, according to the Courier Post.

Scrooge? That may seem a little harsh, but remember the feud between Christia and Gusciora. In late January, Gusciora compared Christie to former Southern segregationist governors, and Christie referred to Gusciora in colorfully unflattering terms.

Advocates of the bill will have until January 2014 to come up with the votes needed to override Christie's expected veto.

Goldstein called that "great news" on Friday.

Meanwhile, a vote is expected Friday in Maryland on its gay-marriage bill. Gov. Martin O’Malley supports such a law, but it is unclear whether the measure will get the 71 votes it needs to pass. The bill has support from both parties, but the issue has divided state lawmakers along religious and racial lines, with some Christians and blacks opposing the measure.

Seven states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.

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