Legislation that would grant gays and lesbians the right to marry in New Jersey appears dead. It’s a question of arithmetic. At least four of the state Senate’s 23 Democrats are expected to vote against the legislation, leaving it two shy of the 21 votes needed to get it through the Senate. That means two Republican votes are needed for the Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act to pass.
It has to pass both houses of the Legislature — it appears to have the votes in the Assembly — and get to Gov. Jon Corzine’s desk before his successor, Christopher Christie, takes office on Jan. 19. Mr. Christie has said he will veto the legislation.
State Sen. Bill Baroni, a Hamilton Republican who represents parts of Mercer and Middlesex counties, voted in favor of the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee and will do so again if the bill ever makes it to the Senate floor. Expectations were that at least one moderate Republican — one of the five others who backed the state’s civil unions bill — would join Sen. Baroni on the right side of history.
Full Story from CentralJersey.com: http://centraljersey.com/articles/2009/12/22/opinions/doc4b31590dcd59f799453819.txt
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