US: Two Republican lawmakers to defy New Jersey Governor and vote for equal marriage

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Two Republican lawmakers in the US state of New Jersey have said that they will go against the wishes of Governor Chris Christie, and vote for an equal marriage measure when it comes to the state.

Governor Chris Christie has voiced his opposition to equal marriage, and has more than once said that he thinks the issue should go to referendum.

He vetoed an equal marriage bill which had passed last year, asserting that the issue should go before voters.

The New Jersey Assembly members also suggested that there may be other GOP members who will also vote for equal marriage, and that there may be a split on the issue.

Declan O’Scanlon of Monmouth County said: “The narrative that the Governor strong-arms Republicans in the Legislature is false,

“I think you’ll see some other folks vote for it, but I don’t know exactly how many at this point. We’re some time away from that vote actually happening,” he said.

O’Scanlon said the Christie administration had been aware of his position, but that it had not widely know that he supported equal marriage. That said, he went on to confirm that he had not been pressured to change his position.

“I have never had untoward pressure put on me, contrary to the reputation of this governor, to change a position. On gay marriage, he has his position and I have mine. We respect each other. I have not gotten a call from anybody in the administration on this,” he said.

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, of Bergen County said the Supreme Court ruling which struck down the federal ban on equal marriage, the Defense of Marriage Act, had convinced her of the need for a state-wide measure to allow same-sex couples the legal right to marry.

“I strongly support the governor. I probably agree with him 90 percent of the time. There’s no human being in the world I’m going to agree with 100 percent of the time. This is one of the times where we have different views,” Schepisi said.

The Governor of the US state of New Jersey in June said the opposite, and that the strike-down of DOMA “was wrong”.

Back in February, Democrats in the New Jersey legislature said they would attempt to override Governor Chris Christie’s equal marriage veto from last year, and have now agreed to put the question of marriage equality to voters in November, if they cannot override it.

When asked how he would react if another equal marriage bill came his way, Christie simply said: “I’ll veto it”.