The New Jersey Assembly has passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriages, setting the stage for an expected veto by Gov. Chris Christie.
The 41-33 vote Thursday sends the bill to Christie. The Republican governor who opposes same-sex marriage has already promised to veto the bill.
Christie and most Republican lawmakers want to make gay marriage a referendum question this November. Democrats argue that gay marriage is a civil right protected by the Constitution and should not be subject to referendum.
Six states and Washington, D.C. recognize gay marriages. Washington State’s new gay marriage law takes effect in June.
The day began with a long line to get into the Assembly Chamber. Just as long were the speeches that preceded the vote. Democratic Assembly leaders including Reed Gusciora, Sheila Oliver and Lou Greenwald spoke passionately about the historic nature of the bill.
Republican Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz made a motion to amend the bill. She said public opinion is high on this issue and polls show it would pass if left up to the voters.
Reporting from the State House, Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron reports on the day’s events.