Gay Marriage To Be A Big NJ Issue In 2013 [POLL/AUDIO]
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora sponsored the bill to legalize gay marriage. Governor Chris Christie vetoed it last year. Gusciora now says he's ready to try again and he thinks there are two options.
"I'm meeting with Senate Democratic leadership Thursday and we're either going to discuss a veto override or pursuing a ballot initiative," explains Gusciora. "I would urge my colleagues to do both. We should attempt the override, but also have the ballot initiative because civil rights delayed is civil rights denied."
In order to place the question on this November's ballot asking voters if they'd like to amend the constitution to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey 48 Assembly members and 24 Senators would have to support a resolution. There are 48 Democrats in the Assembly and 24 in the Senate.
Democrats have until January of 2014 to override Christie's veto. It would take 27 Senators and 54 Assembly members to do that. That means 3 GOP Senators and 6 GOP Assembly members would have to defy the Republican Governor. Democrats claim to believe that's not impossible, but they have been unsuccessful in every previous override attempt.
"I think politically it would be a good issue to have on the ballot along with the minimum wage hike," explains Gusciora. "Democrats would get their natural base out……Voters are very empathetic towards gays and lesbians and that they should have the right to marry and screw up their marriages just like anyone else."
Gusciora thinks civil rights questions should not be on the ballot, but says he's encouraged by the results he's seen in Washington State, Maine and Maryland where voters supported marriage equality.