TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) —  The battle lines are being drawn once again in New Jersey over the issue of same-sex marriage.

Governor Chris Christie has thrown a new maneuver into the heated debate. He’s proposing to take the issue straight to the public, even as a Senate panel approved a gay marriage bill on Tuesday in an 8-4 party-line vote.

The bill will now go to New Jersey’s full Senate. A House committee will also take it up.

Christie also vowed to veto the bill if it gets to his desk, but Democratic leaders are promising to push to make the governor irrelevant and override his veto — though the votes aren’t in hand yet, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman Reports From Trenton

Christie argued an issue of such magnitude should be decided by residents. He said he wants to see a constitutional amendment come up for a vote and encouraged Republican lawmakers to support a ballot measure.

“This is a huge societal change — it needs a lot of consideration,” Christie said Tuesday. “There are very passionate people on both sides, so let’s have at it. Let them make their opinions known and I’ll make mine known.”

“Whether or not to redefine hundreds of years of societal and religious traditions should not be decided by 121 people in the Statehouse,” Christie added.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat who is sponsoring the bill, said civil rights issues like the right to marry are guaranteed under the state constitution and do not require a public vote. He said it’s time for New Jersey to join six other states and 10 countries that sanction gay marriage, adding that Christie would not get the referendum he seeks.

“We vote on issues here. We don’t put civil rights on a ballot,” Sweeney said.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said she, too, is optimistic.

“It’s two years later and I think public opinion is well ahead of out political establishment,” she said.

Gay rights activist Steven Goldstein said that change is occurring on both sides of the Hudson River.

New York has had a huge influence on New Jersey’s momentum for marriage equality,” he said.

But not everyone supports the bill. Greg Quinlan, member of the New Jersey Family and Policy Council, said lawmakers should be focusing on more important issues.

“It really seems odd that we have a state here whose unemployment rate is higher than the national average, who still has property tax rates that are driving people out of the state, we still have businesses leaving the state and this is priority one, homosexual marriage,” Quinlan said. “Corrupting marriage between one man and one woman and making it something it’s not.”

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond With Gov. Chris Christie

However, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, opponents could be in for a surprise. A majority of New Jersey voters would allow gay couples to get married.

Fifty-two percent say they would support a same-sex marriage law, while 42 percent are opposed.

The hearing comes a day after Gov. Christie nominated an openly gay black man to the state Supreme Court.

What do you think?  Will New Jersey soon allow same-sex marriage or not? Sound off below in our comments section…

Comments (31)
  1. Wedding of river song says:

    Summer marriage ceremonies provide the common design regarding birth and renewal along with the chance for vibrant color schemes, yet they are to some degree saying. Fall and winter months …free wedding book

  2. Robert Hagedorn says:

    This is relevant. Google First Scandal.

  3. NYGirl says:

    Yea right civil right = civil wrong.

    1. AuntTootzToldMe says:

      Sorry about your attitude! Civil rights and GLBT marriage are here to stay. Get onboard or get over it… your only choices!

  4. Dakotahgeo, Pastor says:

    Your ignorance and arrogance is amazing!!! How do you do it??!! You need to enter the world as it has been for hundreds of years here. Gay marriage is here, like it or not. If you are not gay, don-t get married to a gay. Simple as that. Loser!!!

    1. Frank A says:

      i feel sorry for you-using the name of Christ while you are more deceived than those that do not claim His name. He has called it sin from the beginning and does not change, like men. you need to get a real bible and read it and get converted man. you will stand before Him for the things done in this life also. nice, ‘tolerant’ attitude you have. i guess Jesus would have been called arrogant and ignorant too. i do it by surrendering my will to His, not rewriting Christianity. this country was not built on twisted values.

  5. Doug Douglass says:

    You people need to understand this is really a JOBS bill in disguise. More marriages equal more divorces. It’s the lawyers who stick it to you in the end regardless of what side you’re on…:)

    1. Michael H. says:

      More marriages also means more catering halls, more DJs, more bartenders, more wait staff, more florists, more tailors, etc. etc. etc. Marriage equality is going to help the economy.

  6. Pete Shea says:

    There seems to be more than a slight inconsistency when the governor states that he doesn’t feel 121 people in the legislature should determine the legality of same-sex marriage and yet he alone is willing to make that determination with his veto.

  7. KPMc says:

    So your idea of good government and inalienable civil rights is based on the majority rules?

    Do you understand the words you read or what you were taught in school or is it all just a mess of jumbled letters to you?

    Your final comment points to what kind of human being you are and the rest belies your intelligence and grasp of our country’s founding ideals.

  8. Frank A says:

    funny how this is touted as a civil rights issue when it is not. thousands of years of successful man and woman marriages-the way it is meant to be-throughout the world, but constantly attacked with no regard for anyone else. it really is molestation of true family values-forcing yourself sexually on someone else. it’s all about affirmation-you can’t get it from God or His people, so you must get it from man. the solution is repentance, coming to Him, not fighting everything that stands for God. don’t be deceived any longer.

    1. KPMc says:

      For thousands of years slavery was acceptable, including in your wonderful bible too.

      For thousands of years misogyny and women as second class citizens was acceptable too, including in your wonderful bible.

      Come out of the dark ages and join modern society. Its really not so bad. We have electricity, medicine and reality TV. OOPPs forget about that last part but really, the rest is pretty nice.

      PS… Guys buggering each other has been around for thousands of years too. Including in the time of your wonderful bible and before. No one is forcing you to take it so get over it!

      1. Frank A says:

        taking things out of context is bad debating, along with bad information. villainizing and mocking also.your point? coming from people who call for tolerance but have none for anyone that thinks different or speaks their mind? can’t “get over it”-it brings a curse on this country and i refuse to see kids hear the lies. let’s talk about those who’ve come out of homosexuality and are ‘straight’ now-or is that something ignored and denied? hitting a nerve on all this i guess.

        1. PaulNadra says:

          There is no such thing as coming out of homosexuality and the fact that you encourage such nonsense makes a bigot puire and simple. As a gay man I do not encourage people to come out of heterosexuality. So I have tolerance towards you lifestyle being that I approve os straight marriage, why can’t you have tolerance for mine? Does hath protest too loudly??

  9. bermudo mahinay says:

    “what God has joined together let no man put asunder.” God never allows marriage of the same sex, we can never find it in the Bible. God created 2 males but one has a “FE / FETUS” . If you don’t carry a Fetus, then you’re a male.

    1. KPMc says:

      what does that have to do with US civil rights?

      Absolutely nothing!

    2. Michael H. says:

      not everybody believes in your god and those who don’t should not be made to follow his bronze aged laws.

      you want to cite god as your reason for being against marriage equality? i’ll bet you cut your hair and shave your beard. i’ll bet you eat shell fish, pork and cheeseburgers (mixing milk and meat is a big no no according to god).

    3. Pete Shea says:

      Have you ever heard of intersex? Sometimes a person’s gender is physically ambiguous. In fact, as many as 1 in 100 births may demonstrate some departure from clear male/female designations.
      And just because you believe a certain way doesn’t give you the right to force your beliefs on others who may not believe the same way.

    4. Angelica says:

      By your way of thinking, if a woman can not carry a fetus than she doesn’t have the right to get married.

      Not much of argument is it?

  10. Linda Elsey says:

    As least New Jersey residents get to vote on this “issue”, we in New York did not because, the politicians knew it wouldn’t pass so, they pushed it through. Its all about votes to get re-elected folks not anything else. The politicians couldn’t care less about rights of any kind they just want to stay in office so they continue to pander to certain ones. Our Country is suffering and in dire straights, it just keeps getting worse with all this immorality.

    1. KPMc says:

      NJ residents probably won’t get to vote on this issue nor should they. Civil rights should not be put to a public vote. If they were the majority of brown-eyed people could vote to have the minority of blue-eyed people exterminated.

      It might sound silly but I used that as an example of why certain rights are guaranteed regardless of the whim of the people.

      It’s really not that hard people, if you use your brain.

      It’s easy to support rights you agree with. Supporting the ones that make you uncomfortable are the mark of true freedom.

    2. Angelica says:

      I don’t think this should be up for a populous vote. Can anyone image if the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s was put up for a vote….with all the racist bigots that lived then, and still live in the US now, it would never have passed.

      As to this being about getting re-elected, why do you think our “two tons of fun” Governor said to go the referendum way? This will assures him that it is taken out of his hands. He will not have to veto the measure and will come out looking like he is a bi-partisan Governor.

  11. Liberals Are Evil says:

    Marriage is for a MAN and a WOMAN!!!! God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve…for those who do not believe in God, Shakespeare created Romeo and Juliet not Romeo and Julio!!!

    1. DarthEVaderCheney says:

      How do you know? You were Shakespeare’s wife, lolol? You may not like it, fella, but it’s gonna happen… it really is!!!

    2. Glenn Barkan says:

      God created me too. And God created me gay, and with the same capacity to love and commit as you. God celebrates and blesses my marriage.
      But my beliefs about God are as irrelevant as yours. It is CIVIL marriage that is being considered. Which marriages your church choses to bless or not is NOT BEING AFFECTED.

      1. Dakotahgeo, Pastor says:

        Thank you, Glenn, Mat D. Well said!

    3. Mat D. says:

      Too much time listening to Limbaugh, Hannity and other mentally-challenged non individuals. Have you tried reading a book on biology? It may not help, but it won’t hurt. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, learn how to read first.

      1. Poppy Smith says:

        You lower respect for your viewpoint by being insulting. Of course those who hold an opposite view to you can read, are as intelligent as the other side, and are not mentally-challenged, If you’re going to argue your side, do it with some level of intelligence.

        1. AuntTootzToldMe says:

          Mat D. is quite intelligent, thank you! YOU… are a bigot!

    4. J. Gordon says:

      Wait…then who created Steve?

  12. Dakotahgeo, Pastor says:

    ANOTHER state for GLBT marriage… fannnnnntastico!!!

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