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Same-sex marriage in NJ: Toast

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

NEWSBREAK : A New Jersey state Senate vote on legalizing same-sex marriage has been delayed, essentially killing the measure, which didn’t have much chance of passing, anyway.

The upper house was to vote on the bill Thursday after it narrowly made its way out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. But it quickly became clear the votes weren’t there, so sponsors Loretta Weinberg (Bergen) and Ray Lesniak (Union) pulled out.

Both sides talked of an Assembly committee hearing that would allow more public input. But no date was set.

Lesniak, in a published report, said he still expects a vote on same-sex marriage in both houses before the end of the lame-duck legislative session in January. But that’s unlikely to happen now.

Gov. Jon Corzine, who said he would sign such a bill, leaves office Jan. 19. Governor-elect Chris Christie says he’d veto one.

If a vote tomorrow went straight down party lines, the Democrats would have ended up with only 19 of the 21 votes needed for passage. It would have rendered meaningless the vote of the only Republican Senator who openly supports the Marriage Equality Act, William Baroni of Mercer County — who got the bill out of the Judiciary Committee on Monday after a seven-hour hearing.

The Assembly has a twin measure ready, but that would have come up only come up if the Senate adopted its version.

EDITORIAL: Same-sex marriage in New Jersey headed for fall?

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