January 6, 2010 at 10:38 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
N.J. Senate to vote on marriage legislation

The New Jersey Senate is poised to vote Thursday on legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage.

Senate President Richard Codey announced in a statement Tuesday that the vote would come this week.

“Given the intensely personal nature of this issue, I think the people of this state deserve the right to a formal debate on the Senate floor,” he said. “I’d like to commend both sides of this issue for their passionate advocacy thus far and the heartfelt testimony that we have heard.”

Check www.washingtonblade.com for updates after the vote Thursday, which is expected to come in the afternoon.

Although the Senate Judiciary Committee last month passed the marriage legislation, 7-6, the Senate is seen as the more challenging chamber for advocates of same-sex marriage in New Jersey.

Democrats hold a majority in the Senate, but Codey has said the marriage bill lacks unanimous support among the Democratic caucus. He was quoted last week by NBC New York as saying the Senate couldn’t pass the marriage bill “in a million years.”

Supporters of gay nuptials in New Jersey are under the gun to pass same-sex marriage this month. Outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine (D) has said he’d sign marriage legislation if it reaches his desk, but on Jan. 19, Republican Chris Christie will take office, and he’s pledged to veto a same-sex marriage bill.

Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts has said he’d hold a floor vote on the bill if the Senate approves the legislation.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Here’s hoping for a miracle…

  • I too hope that there are enough members of the NJ Senate who will vote our way. I am less confident now than I would have been before the catastrophe in New York.

    Since I have heard that a positive vote for the gay community will require some votes from Republican members, the outcome will be decided by the amount of rancor that exists in the chamber. If the Republicans in New Jersey are as committed to blocking any and all legislative efforts there as the national Republicans are, we will get no bill.

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