US: New Jersey Democrats to attempt override of governor’s veto of equal marriage after election

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Democrats in the US state of New Jersey have said they will attempt to override Governor Chris Christie’s veto of an equal marriage bill last year, but that they will do so after November’s election.

The state currently allows civil unions, but Governor Chris Chistie vetoed a bill to legalise equal marriage back in 2012. He has since maintained that the issue should be decided at a referendum. He also voiced his support for civil union law in the state.

As of last year the Senate needed three more votes, as well as 12 in the Assembly, in order to override Christie’s veto, but its supporters are now confident that they can succeed.

Democratic leaders have said they will attempt to override the veto in November during the lame duck season after the election.

Campaigns have also begun on both sides of the argument.

Republican legislators have been told they will be allowed to vote however they please on the issue, without pressure from the governor.

Two Republicans last week 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. 

The US Supreme Court in June struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and ruled that civil unions do not provide the same benefits as marriage.

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”.

Same-sex couples are also challenging the state’s ban on equal marriage, and a parallel track is going through court.

Alongside Pennsylvania, New Jersey is the only north east state where same-sex marriage is not legal.