New Jersey Lawmakers Approve Same-Sex Marriage, Despite Veto Threat

Posted February 17th, 2012 at 5:00 am (UTC-5)
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A bill legalizing same-sex marriage in New Jersey is now headed to state Governor Chris Christie, after the measure passed its final legislative hurdle Thursday.

The state Assembly approved the bill by a vote of 42-33, days after it passed in the state Senate. But Governor Christie, an ardent opponent of gay marriage and a rising figure in the Republican party, has promised to veto the bill if it reached his desk. He says he wants the issue to go before the voters in a ballot referendum.

There are not enough votes in either chamber of the state's Democratic-controlled legislature to override Mr. Christie's veto, but supporters have two years to gain the necessary support for the override.

Earlier this week, Washington state became the seventh state to legally approve same-sex marriage, joining Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Washington, D.C. has also approved gay marriage.

A federal appeals court in California ruled just last week that a 2008 referendum that banned gay marriage in that state was unconstitutional.