Vote Scheduled On Marriage Equality Bill; Outcome Remains In Doubt

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TRENTON – New Jersey’s state Senate is scheduled to vote on Jan. 7 on a controversial bill that would extend the right to marry to homosexual couples.

The state Senate had previously scheduled a vote on the bill in December, but postponed it at the last minute pending a state Assembly hearing. Last week, state Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) said that he would only call a vote the bill if the state Senate passed it first.

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It isn’t clear if the bill has enough support to pass in either house, but proponents of the measure fear this is their final chance for the Marriage Equality Bill to become law. While Gov. Jon Corzine supports the legislation, Gov.-elect Christopher Christie, who takes office on Jan. 19, would likely veto it.

A study by the Williams Institute, a national think tank at UCLA Law, estimates that extending marriage to same-sex couples would boost the New Jersey economy by almost $200 million during the next three years.

Five states recognize same-sex marriage: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts New Hampshire and Vermont. Many states have constitutional amendments that limit marriage to the traditional definition.


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