New Jersey State Legislature Passes Historic Marriage Equality Bill
Advocates Will Continue Working to Overturn Promised Veto
Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is praising the New Jersey Assembly for passing historic marriage equality legislation by a vote of 42-33. The Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act passed the State Senate earlier this week by a bipartisan vote of 24-16. Governor Chris Christie has vowed to buck the will of the majority of New Jersey voters and the State Legislature by vetoing the legislation.
According to new polling from the Eagleton Center, 54 percent of New Jersey voters support marriage equality, an upswing of nearly ten points in two years.
“Today, the New Jersey State Legislature sent a powerful message that all its citizens should be treated equally under the law, and that all families deserve the same protections,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Governor Christie may veto this legislation, but he is out of step with the majority of voters on this issue. We will not give up until marriage equality becomes a reality in New Jersey.”
HRC has been proud to partner with Garden State Equality (GSE) in achieving this historic legislative victory. Both the State Senate and Assembly will need a two-thirds majority vote to override Gov. Christie’s expected veto. The current legislative sessions expires in January 2014. HRC will continue to support GSE in ensuring all loving, committed same-sex couples in New Jersey have the right to marry.
Today’s legislative win for marriage equality comes at a historic moment: in the past two weeks, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled California’s discriminatory Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional; Governor Christine Gregoire signed marriage equality into law in Washington State; and momentum continued in Maryland with the House expected to vote soon on marriage equality legislation. Six states and the District of Columbia recognize marriage equality, with Washington State’s law set to go into effect in three months.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.