Friday, December 11, 2009

New Jersey Assembly Has No Date Set For Marriage Equality Bill Hearing

The clock is ticking before pro-LGBT Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey leaves office January 19, and still the state's marriage equality bill seems no closer to reaching his desk for his guaranteed signature.

Earlier this week, after passing the Senate Judiciary Committee, sponsors pulled the bill from Thursday's schedule before being voted on by the full Senate when it became clear they did not have the 21 votes needed for passage. However, they said they wanted the Assembly Judiciary Committee to have its chance to hear testimony and to vote themselves on the legislation.

New Jersey's Star-Ledger did a survey of the Senators and found that 13 supported the bill, 18 opposed and 9 were undecided or chose not to indicate their position.

"I can’t in any way, shape or form guarantee them [Assembly members] that it will pass at this point," said Senate President Dick Codey, who was handicapping the bill’s chances of passage in the Senate if it wins approval in the Assembly, reports North Jersey.
[Garden State Equality] also was embarrassed by a series of pro-gay-marriage rallies at legislators’ homes and work sites, and in the case of Republican Minority Leader Thomas H. Kean Jr., showing up at his 11-year-old daughter’s piano recital Tuesday.

Several senators bristled at the tactics, saying that the group had gate-crashed into the lawmakers’ privacy zones.

"Would you want them on your property?" replied Sen. Shirley Turner, a Mercer County Democrat who was not expected to vote for the bill. She said the incident only "further entrenched" her opposition.

[Steven] Goldstein issued an apology to Kean that was posted on political Web sites, saying he was "sickened" by the protest, and that he did not authorize it.
The Star-Ledger also reports that the Assembly Judiciary Committee has no hearing date scheduled. Though rules allow Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, a supporter of the bill, to schedule a hearing as early as Monday, he said, "But I must emphasize that no hearing has been scheduled and that I am continuing to discuss this issue with our caucus to gauge whether there is enough support for it."

ACTION: Go to Garden State Equality to find out how you can get involved!

No comments:

Post a Comment