Saturday, February 18, 2012

Opinion: Should same-gender marriage be decided by referendum, legislative action, or the courts?

By Ricardo Lopez
February 17, 2012, 4:21 p.m.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie followed through on his word Friday, vetoing a gay marriage bill passed by the state’s legislature a day earlier.

“I am adhering to what I've said since this bill was first introduced - an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide," Christie said in a statement.

Christie is urging the legislature to put the measure on the ballot in the form of a referendum.

“This is the only path to amend our state Constitution and the best way to resolve the issue of same-sex marriage in our state,” he said.

Democrats were not surprised by the veto. Christie, a Republican, announced his intentions last month at a town hall meeting.

Yet Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat, denounced the governor's action and vowed to work to override it.“Governor Christie's veto is a shameful act hidden behind the guise of a public referendum. Today, he firmly planted his feet on the wrong side of history,” he said in a statement.

“He had a chance to do the right thing, and failed miserably.”

New Jersey lawmakers now have until Jan. 2014 to muster a two-thirds majority vote in each chamber to override the governor’s veto.Gay marriage supporters need three more votes in the Senate to override the veto. Senate Democrats passed the bill 24-16. The Assembly, which passed the bill 42-33, needs needs 14 more votes for a veto override.

On Thursday, the Democratic-controlled Assembly voted 42-33 in favor of gay marriage.

That vote came after emotional speeches from both sides on Thursday. Seven states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.,0,1375226.story

Sunday, February 12, 2012