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N.J. Assembly Passes Gay Marriage Bill; Heads To Gov. Christie For Expected Veto

If Shot Down, Legislature Would Need Two-Thirds Of Each House To Override
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New Jersey State Assembly

New Jersey State Assembly (Credit: NJ.com)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The Garden State has voted to legalize same-sex marriage, setting up a confrontation with Gov. Chris Christie who’s vowing to veto it.

Cheers erupted as the vote was announced, 42-33 in favor. The state Assembly passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage just days after the Senate did the very same thing, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

It was a passionate debate, kicked off by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, one of two openly gay members of the lower house.

“This is all about family, about establishing a home in New Jersey,” Gusciora said.

Passions were strong on both sides. At one point Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz of Union County drew huge cheers from opponents of same-sex marriage when she asked that the bill be withdrawn.

Several shared the position of Gov. Christie that the issue should be decided by the people not by lawmakers.

“I think it’s something that when you redefine marriage it’s something that the voters want to vote on and it makes sense to let them vote on,” Assemblyman John Bramnick said.

Christie has repeatedly vowed to veto the bill, but the chamber isn’t required to send the bill to the governor’s desk until the end of the day Friday. If Christie does shoot it down, the Democratic-controlled Legislature will have two years to try to override the governor, something they have yet to be successful at doing.

“I will veto it quickly and then they get down to the business of deciding do they want to let the people decide? Do they care more about the issue or about the political theater,” Christie said recently.

That means that lawmakers will have to muster two-thirds vote in each house to override. Right now, lawmakers are far from that support.

Six states and Washington, D.C. recognize gay marriage. Washington State’s new gay marriage law is set to take effect in June.

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