Republican Senator Introduces Resolution To Put Gay Marriage On Ballot

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Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman

Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman

TRENTON – A Republican state senator has introduced a resolution that would put the question of whether to allow same-sex marriage to New Jersey voters this November.

“Let’s stop the political games and let the people of New Jersey decide,” Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset/Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex). “Marriage equality advocates and opponents would both have the ability to register their opinion at the ballot box. Nobody would be disenfranchised on either side of the issue.”

Bateman noted that the proposal is modeled after efforts by marriage equality advocates in Maine, who have succeeded in collecting enough signature to place a measure permitting same sex marriage on the ballot this year.

“This is not a so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Amendment,’” Bateman said. “I am not sure why putting this to voters is acceptable to advocates in Maine, but not in New Jersey.”

Bateman also said that, if approved, a constitutional amendment would be a more permanent resolution to the question.

“A constitutional amendment really should be the preferred option for proponents of same sex marriage, as it could not be easily undone by a simple majority of the Legislature. Furthermore, it is the only option available to those who want to see same sex marriage legalized in the near term, as Governor Christie has promised to veto S-1. Supporters have a choice to make: is the process, or the outcome, more important?”

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon), the sponsor of marriage equality legislation (A-1), said “Any legislation, no matter how written, that asks voters whether to approve marriage equality in New Jersey misses the point…. a civil rights referendum is wrong and unnecessary because equal rights are guaranteed.”

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