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Gay Marriage Override Vote Expected in Lame Duck [AUDIO]

Democrats have failed in every previous attempt to override one of Gov. Chris Christie’s vetoes.

Gay Marriage
Win McNamee, Getty Images

Undeterred, they are planning to give it another shot during the lame duck session after this November’s general election. This time they’ll try and override Christie’s veto of the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the Garden State.

“We’re going to move forward with it and call the question,” says State Sen. Ray Lesniak, a long-time advocate for the legalization of gay marriage. “I think it’ll be a close vote. Hopefully we can get enough Republicans and additional Democrats to do the right thing that is favored by the people of New Jersey.”

Democrats control the State Senate by a margin of 24-16 and they control the General Assembly by a margin of 48-32. It takes 27 votes in the Upper House and 54 votes in the Assembly to override a veto.

“The State Supreme Court should rule that the state’s ban (on same-sex marriage) in unconstitutional,” says Lesniak. “I think we’re going to get that decision shortly so they’re probably going to beat us to the punch on an override. Whatever way it happens, it’s important that it does and it’s overdue and we shouldn’t be denying these loving couples the right to marry.”

The Governor urged the legislature to let the people decide the issue. He advised them to pass a resolution to put a question on the ballot asking voters if they want to amend the State Constitution to allow gay marriage. Sen. President Steve Sweeney refused saying civil rights issues should be handled by the legislature.

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